Chase Elliott Declared Pocono Victor After Denny Hamlin Disqualification

Chase Elliott was declared winner after Hamlin's disqualification

LONG POND, PA – RIS – Pole-sitter Denny Hamlin led the NASCAR Cup M&M’s Fan Appreciation Day 500 on Sunday to the checkered flag but, along with fellow Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch, was disqualified in post-race inspection for reasons not yet available. The disqualification moved Chase Elliott into the winner's slot. We'll be pursuing this sstory and post updates as more information becomes available  Hamlin led the final 13 laps with teammate Kyle Busch close behind.  Hamlin and Ross Chastain battled through yet another confrontation late in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway and won for the third time this year.

Transcripts: Brad Moran – 07.24.22 NASCAR Media Conference

Press Conference

Sunday, July 24, 2022

An Interview with: Brad Moran

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.

Chastain and Hamlin were first and second on a restart in the closing miles. Hamlin shot to the inside of Chastain and edged up the track, limiting Chastain’s lane. Chastain hit the outside wall, was hit by Kevin Harvick and slid into the inside wall and out of the race.

It was a race of mistakes, or teams setting up the cars.  Apparently Turn 3 at the triangular track was more difficult than before the Next Gen car came on the scene.  Numerous spins and crashed happened at that turn resulting in flat tires and damage.

It all started when Ryan Blaney, a top 10 driver all day, slid off of the third turn  with 23 laps to go in the race.  He slid into the pit wall and brought about a restart.  One with Chastain and Hamlin lined up side by side. That meant thew two were first and second on a restart in the closing miles. Hamlin shot to the inside of Chastain and edged up the track, limiting Chastain’s lane. Chastain hit the outside wall, was hit by Kevin Harvick and slid into the inside wall and out of the race.

Hamlin didn’t push Chastain into the wall on the restart, but he limited Chastain’s room to race. Hamlin had made it clear earlier in the season that he planned to get some revenge at some point for what Hamlin has described as Chastain’s rough driving. After Sunday’s incident, Chastain said it was “something I’ve been owed for a few months now.”

Hamlin said Chastain “just ran out of race track.”

The win was Hamlin’s 49th Cup win with 7 of them coming at Pocono, which is the most by any driver. He passed Jeff Gordon for that honor. That 49th win ties him with Tony Stewart on the all-time win list.  He now is tied for 15th place on the all- time wins in the Cup series with Stewart. 

Hamlin and Chase Elliott are the only two drivers with three wins this year.

The top 5 were Busch, Elliott, Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez. Hamlin’s daughter, Taylor, climbed in the No. 11 car after the race and joined her father in a victory celebration.

Ty Gibbs ran well in his first Cup race, running as a replacement for Kurt Busch, who was sidelined by NASCAR protocol after a Saturday crash in practice. He finished 18th.  The grandson of Joe Gibbs, had a good showing.

The race presented a series of spins virtually from the beginning. A couple of spins — by Aric Almirola and Austin Cindric — resulted in the relatively unusual circumstance of drivers doing U-turns on the inside of the track and traveling backward on pit road to reach the pits.

Kyle Larson won the first stage and Kyle Busch the second. 

Unofficial Results: 49th Annual M&Ms Fan Appreciation 400: July 24, 2022 - Pocono Raceway
Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Team, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 3, Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, 160, 2, 9, , , , 45, Running
2) 16, Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Sheetz Chevrolet, 160, , , , , , 33, Running
3) 9, Daniel Suarez, No. 99 CommScope Chevrolet, 160, 5, 8, , , , 41, Running
4) 11, Christopher Bell, No. 20 Rheem Toyota, 160, , , 1, 14, , 31, Running
5) 4, Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, 160, 1, 10, 1, 18, 1, 41, Running
6) 25, Michael McDowell, No. 34 Fr8Auctions.com Ford, 160, , , , , , 29, Running
7) 8, Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 DeWalt Toyota, 160, 9, , 1, 2, , 30, Running
8) 7, Bubba Wallace, No. 23 DoorDash Toyota, 160, , , 2, 4, , 27, Running
9) 34, Erik Jones, No. 43 FOCUSfactor Chevrolet, 160, 7, 4, 1, 11, , 37, Running
10) 15, Austin Dillon, No. 3 BREZTRI Chevrolet, 160, , , , , , 25, Running
11) 17, Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 160, , , , , , 24, Running
12) 18, William Byron, No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet, 160, 8, 7, , , , 30, Running
13) 12, Aric Almirola, No. 10 Haas Automation Ford, 160, , , , , , 22, Running
14) 26, Brad Keselowski, No. 6 Kohler Generators Ford, 160, , , , , , 21, Running
15) 13, Chase Briscoe, No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford, 160, , , , , , 20, Running
16) 10, Ty Gibbs(i), No. 45 McDonald's Toyota, 160, , , , , , 0, Running
17) 32, Cole Custer, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford, 160, , , , , , 18, Running
18) 19, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger/SweetLeaf Chevrolet, 160, , , , , , 17, Running
19) 23, Corey LaJoie, No. 7 WWE SummerSlam on Peacock Chevrolet, 160, , , , , , 16, Running
20) 14, Joey Logano, No. 22 Verizon Frontline Ford, 160, , , , , , 15, Running
21) 30, Justin Haley, No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 160, , , , , , 14, Running
22) 27, Ty Dillon, No. 42 Big Dog Energy Chevrolet, 160, , , , , , 13, Running
23) 28, Harrison Burton #, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford, 160, , , 1, 4, , 12, Running
24) 22, Noah Gragson(i), No. 16 Gold Fish Casino Slots Chevrolet, 160, , , , , , 0, Running
25) 29, Todd Gilliland #, No. 38 A&W Root Beer Float Ford, 160, , , , , , 10, Running
26) 36, Cody Ware, No. 51 Nurtec ODT Ford, 160, , , , , , 9, Running
27) 24, Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Busch Light Apple #BuschTrickyTrivia Ford, 160, 10, 6, , , , 14, Running
28) 33, JJ Yeley(i), No. 15 Ollie's Bargain Outlet Ford, 159, , , , , , 0, Running
29) 5, Chris Buescher, No. 17 Wyndham Resorts Ford, 158, , , , , , 6, Running
30) 35, BJ McLeod(i), No. 78 Surface Sunscreen Ford, 158, , , , , , 0, Running
31) 20, Austin Cindric #, No. 2 Keystone Light Ford, 154, , , , , , 4, Running
32) 21, Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Chevrolet, 142, , 2, 2, 16, , 12, Accident
33) 6, Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards/Duracell Ford, 135, 6, 3, 1, 7, , 15, Accident
34) 31, Josh Bilicki(i), No. 77 Zeigler Auto/Rich Mar Florist Chevrolet, 35, , , , , , 0, Accident
35) 1, Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota, 160, 3, 5, 2, 21, 5, 54, Running
36) 2, Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&Ms Toyota, 160, 4, 1, 3, 63, 1, 52, Running
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Race Length: 160 Laps, 400 Miles

Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 15 Mins, 59 Secs.
Average Speed: 122.459 MPH
Margin of Victory: .927 Seconds

Stage 1 Top 10: 5, 9, 11, 18, 99, 12, 43, 24, 19, 4
Stage 2 Top 10: 18, 1, 12, 43, 11, 4, 24, 99, 9, 5

Comments: Chase Elliott has won the M&M's Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway, after Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were both disqualified following post-race inspection.

Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty: Nos. 1, 24, 31, 43, 51 (Unapproved Adjustments), No. 45 (Backup Vehicle).

Cautions: 9 for 37 laps;
Laps: 8-12 (No. 2 Spin Turn 3 [None]);
29-34 (No. 10 Spin Turn 3/Stage 1 Conclusion [2]);
37-40 (No. 77 Incident Turn 1  [10]);
42-44 (No. 11 Spin Turn 2 [2]);
46-48 (No. 7, 34 Incident Turn 1 [2]);
84-87 (No. 42 Spin Turn 2 [6]);
97-100 (Stage 2 Conclusion [42]);
139-142 (No. 12 Incident Turn 3 [None]);
144-147 (No. 1, 4, 11, 20 Incident Turn 1 [51]).

Lead Changes: 15 among 10 drivers;
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.

Busch Light Pole Award:  Denny Hamlin, No. 11 169.991 mph

Sunoco Rookie of the Race:  Harrison Burton, No. 21 

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

Ron Fleshman is NASCAR Editor at Ris-News.com

Read More on Cup / XFINITY / Truck news
Volume 2022, Issue 7, Posted 7:37 PM, 07.24.2022