NASCAR Disqualifies Denny Hamlin from Pocono Win

Photo credit: Logan Riely - Getty Images
Photo credit: Logan Riely - Getty Images

NASCAR has disqualified race-winner Denny Hamlin and his second-placed teammate Kyle Busch from today's Cup Series race at Pocono. As a result of the decision, Chase Elliott has been promoted to race winner. Elliott's car passed a similar post-race inspection and no other cars have been disqualified.

The cars were deemed to have illegally-positioned "material" on the front fascia, leading to an apparent aerodynamic advantage. As a series official explains, those cars will now be fully investigated at NASCAR's R&D center. Restricting modification to aero components are major focuses of the Next Gen car, so NASCAR has determined to use its most powerful penalty available. As the appeal process has not begun, the series has chosen not to explain the disqualification in detail yet.

The decision is appealable, with the serious nature of a disqualification meaning that the series will expedite that process over the course of the next week. If that process results in those two cars staying disqualified, Elliott will keep the win and the rest of the field will have finished two spots above their post-race position. As of now, no other post-race penalty has been handed out.


The decision is historic. As series founder Bill France Sr. made keeping a race day winner a focus after a three-day review of the finish of the first Daytona 500, disqualifications have been rare throughout series history and one has not been seen since 1960. Drivers have lost wins on plate tracks for violations of track limits before, but disqualifications from race wins have been kept as a largely unused threat up to this point. That changed today, a decision that may change how other teams approach the outer limits of the series rulebook.

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