Pocono Post-Race Inspection Complete; Hamlin and Kyle Busch Disqualified UPDATES

UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing statement:

“In our review of the post-race infractions on the 11 and 18 cars at Pocono it was discovered that a single piece of clear tape was positioned over each of the lower corners of the front fascia ahead of the left-front and right-front wheel openings on both those cars. The added pieces were 2 inches wide and 5 ½ inches long with a thickness of 0.012 inches and installed under the wrap. This change in our build process was not properly vetted within our organization and we recognize it is against NASCAR’s rules. We apologize to everyone for this mistake, and we have made changes to our processes to ensure that it does not happen again.”

– Wally Brown, Director of Competition for Joe Gibbs Racing

UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing will not appeal the penalties to Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

The penalties will stand and Chase Elliott is officially the winner.

ORIGINAL POST 7-24-2022: Inspection is complete following the the M&Ms Fan Appreciation 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.

The cars of #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-Kyle Busch, the first and second place cars, were disqualified. The cars will be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center for further evaluation. #9-Chase Elliott is the winner.

The Nos. 34 and 47 will also be taken to the R&D Center for further inspection.

Comments from Brad Moran, NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director:

THE MODERATOR: We’re now joined by NASCAR Cup Series managing director Brad more an. Like I mentioned earlier, this is an appealable disqualification, so can’t get into as many details as I’m sure you’d like. We can do that once the appeal process has been exhausted.

Brad, with that in mind, what can you tell us about the inspection process and what you found that ended up being a DQ for both the 11 and the 18.

BRAD MORAN: Yeah, unfortunately we were doing our post-race inspections, which we do. There was some issues discovered that affect aero of the vehicle. The part was the front fascia. There really was no reason why there was some material that was somewhere it shouldn’t have been, and that does basically come down to a DQ. It is a penalty, both for the 11 of Denny Hamlin and the 18 of Kyle Busch have been DQed. Their vehicles are being loaded in the NASCAR hauler. They’re going to go back to the R&D Center.

The final results have been changed to show that the two DQs were there, and they have the opportunity to appeal it, and it’ll be all sorted out by next week.

Like Mike said, I can’t get into all the details of what the issues were, but both vehicles had the same issue, and unfortunately they were not acceptable to pass the inspection.

Q. Brad, this has not happened for a long time, maybe two decades. Does this relate to something related to the new car? Is this something that is surprising at this point, because we haven’t had a race winner DQs in Cup for a very, very long time.

BRAD MORAN: Yeah, it’s unfortunate. We don’t want to be here talking about this. We just saw a great race. Last thing you want to do is meet here afterwards and talk about this problem. But the teams and the owners and everybody is well aware that this new car was going to be kept with some pretty tight tolerances, and there’s some areas that all the teams are well aware that we cannot be going down the path that we had in the past with the other cars.

It is partly to do with the new car, and the rules have tightened up, and everyone has to kind of abide by our new rules, which everybody is well aware of.

Q. Are there any additional penalties, suspensions, additional points, playoff points in the picture on this?

BRAD MORAN: No, not from what we’ve seen at this point. We saw enough that the DQ was warranted, and we are bringing the vehicles back for further evaluation, so we will look much closer at both vehicles. But as of right now, no, we are hopefully not going to find anything else, but we are going to inspect them further when we get them back to the R&D Center.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Brad. Appreciate your time. To the media, appreciate your understanding on the appeals process.