NASCAR DQs Hamlin, Busch; Elliott wins Pocono

The Toyota infractions involved the front facia of the Next Gen.

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Chase Elliott has been declared the winner of the M&M's Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway following the disqualifications of scored winner and runner-up Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch in post-race technical inspection.

NASCAR issued the disqualifications after finding discrepancies with the front fascia -- specifically that there was material there that should not have been. Joe Gibbs Racing can appeal the penalty and that process would be expedited before the next race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NASCAR managing director Brad Moran detailed the penalty in the media center immediately after the race.

"Unfortunately, we were doing our post-race inspection, which we do, there were some issues discovered that affect aero of the vehicle," Moran said. "The part was the front facia and there really no reason for that material that was there to be somewhere it shouldn’t have been. That does basically come down to a DQ. It is a penalty both the 11 and 18, they have been disqualified, and their vehicles have been loaded into a hauler to be taken back to the R&D center."

The infraction wasn't found in prerace inspection because the wrap is only removed in post-race teardown.

This is the first disqualification at the Cup Series level since the policy was instituted in 2019. It’s also the first under the spec Next Gen racing platform.

"It's unfortunate because we don't want to be talking about this," Moran said. "We just saw a great race. Last thing we want to do is talk about this problem. But the teams, the owners, everyone was well aware that this new car was going to be kept with some pretty tight tolerances, and there are some areas that the teams are well aware that we can not go down this path we had in the past with the old car so it is partly to do with the new car. The rules have tightened up and everyone has to adhere to that."

The updated results give Elliott four wins on the season. Kyle Busch won the second stage over Chase Elliott. The results also give Elliott the second stage playoff point as stage points are also eliminated for disqualified drivers and entrants.

There will be no addition penalties beyond the disqualifications, unless NASCAR finds something else at the R&D Center.

"Not to this point, with anything that we've seen at this point," Moran said. "We've seen enough that the disqualification was warranted, and we are bringing the cars back for further evaluation. So, we will inspect both cars closer, but as of right now, no, we are hopefully not going to find anything else, but we are going to inspect it closer at the R&D Center."

Denny Hamlin was previously disqualified in 2019 in the Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway. That infraction resulted in a Cole Custer victory. In both instances, the official winner failed to lead a single lap.

Before that, the most recent Cup Series disqualification came on April 17, 1960 when Emanuel Zervakis’ victory at Wilson Speedway in North Carolina was thrown out due to an oversized fuel tank.

UPDATED RESULTS
NASCAR Cup Series M&Ms Fan Appreciation 400
Pocono Raceway
Sunday, July 24, 2022

1. (3) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 160.
2. (16) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 160
3. (9) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 160.
4. (11) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 160
5. (4) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 160.
6. (25) Michael McDowell, Ford, 160.
7. (8) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 160.
8. (7) Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 160.
9. (34) Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 160.
10. (15) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 160.
11. (17) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 160.
12. (18) William Byron, Chevrolet, 160.
13. (12) Aric Almirola, Ford, 160.
14. (26) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 160.
15. (13) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 160.
16. (10) Ty Gibbs(i), Toyota, 160.
17. (32) Cole Custer, Ford, 160.
18. (19) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 160.
19. (23) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 160.
20. (14) Joey Logano, Ford, 160.
21. (30) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 160.
22. (27) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 160.
23. (28) Harrison Burton #, Ford, 160.
24. (22) Noah Gragson(i), Chevrolet, 160.
25. (29) Todd Gilliland #, Ford, 160.
26. (36) Cody Ware, Ford, 160.
27. (24) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 160.
28. (33) JJ Yeley(i), Ford, 159.
29. (5) Chris Buescher, Ford, 158.
30. (35) BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 158.
31. (20) Austin Cindric #, Ford, 154.
32. (21) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, Accident, 142.
33. (6) Ryan Blaney, Ford, Accident, 135.
34. (31) Josh Bilicki(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 35.
35. (1) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 160.
36. (2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 160.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 122.459 mph.
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 15 Mins, 59 Secs.
Margin of Victory: .927 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 9 for 37 laps.
Lead Changes: 15 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders: K. Busch 1-12;K. Larson 13-30;H. Burton # 31-34;C. Bell 35-48;K. Busch 49-64;M. Truex Jr. 65-66;R. Blaney 67-73;E. Jones 74-84;B. Wallace 85-87;K. Busch 88-122;R. Chastain 123;D. Hamlin 124-126;B. Wallace 127;R. Chastain 128-142;D. Hamlin 143-160.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Kyle Busch 3 times for 63 laps; Denny Hamlin 2 times for 21 laps; Kyle Larson 1 time for 18 laps; Ross Chastain 2 times for 16 laps; Christopher Bell 1 time for 14 laps; Erik Jones 1 time for 11 laps; Ryan Blaney 1 time for 7 laps; Harrison Burton # 1 time for 4 laps; Bubba Wallace 2 times for 4 laps; Martin Truex Jr. 1 time for 2 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 5,9,99,12,43,24,19,4,7,34
Stage #2 Top Ten: 1,12,43,4,24,99,9,5,20,19