Long Pond, Pennsylvania. – NASCAR stripped Denny Hamlin of his victory at the Pocono Raceway when he was No. 11 Toyota failed the screening and was disqualified, awarding Chase Elliott the win in the Cup Series.
Joe Gibbs Racing had a Hamlin and runner-up Kyle Busch No. 18 Toyota are both ineligible. Hamlin lost his record seventh win in the Pocono and his third win of the season. Bosch led 63 laps in the race.
NASCAR thought the last time it ruled out a ostensible winner was on April 17, 1960, when Emmanuel Zervakis’ victory at Wilson Speedway in North Carolina was dumped by an oversized fuel tank.
Sanctions can be appealed and both Toyotas have been sent to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in North Carolina.
“Some issues affecting the air in the car have been discovered,” said Brad Moran, managing director of the NASCAR Cup Series. “There was really no reason to have some material somewhere it shouldn’t be. That’s mainly because of DQ.”
The parts involved are the front end — essentially the nose cone — and final decisions should be settled by next week, Moran said.
Elliott, who finished third, took his fourth win of the season. He never drove a brood in no. 9 Chevrolet.
Moran said “inspection rules have tightened” with the introduction of a new car this season. The latest version of NASCAR is essentially a multi-purpose vehicle. Teams get the same parts from different sellers and have detailed instructions on how to put them together.
“We don’t want to be here to talk about this problem,” Moran said. “But the teams, the owners and everyone else knew that this new car was going to be kept with some extreme endurance. There are some areas where all the teams are well aware that we can’t go down the path we had on with the other car.”
The failures marred what had been a remarkable day for JGR.
Hamlin appears to have won for the third time this season and overtakes Hall of Fame driver Jeff Gordon for most wins in the Pocono with seven. Hamlin ran two Pocono races in the junior season in 2006, and added wins in 2009, 2010, 2019 and 2020. Now, he’s still tied with the four-time NASCAR champion.
Hamlin had a lot to contend with right from the start, when the shaft sitter was marking the wall on the opening lap. He recovered — at 400 miles in the 2 1/2-mile triangle oval, plenty of races ahead — then had to watch Busch lead the majority of the race. Oh, and then there was this thorny issue of settling the outstanding scores with Ross Chastain.
Chastain smashed Hamlin twice in a month earlier this season – Hamlin was counted two more times last season – and was sick of the watermelon grower’s aggressive driving. Hamlin refused to give his rival an inch of restarting at Pocono and forced Chastain to the wall 16 laps before the race. Chastain slammed into the wall and created a wreck that collected several drivers, including winless Kevin Harvick, who is fighting for a playoff point.
In the immediate aftermath, Hamlin asked, “What did you want me to do? What did you expect me to do?”
Chastain, who has two wins this season driving Trackhouse Racing, shyly realized the disadvantage was well due.
“I think this is something I’ve owed for a few months now,” Chastain said.
Hamlin also lost a tie with former teammate Tony Stewart on the NASCAR career win list with 49.
“We were just good friends and he’s definitely someone I look up to from a talent standpoint,” Hamlin said. “He was the guy who was a threat to win 36 races, and that’s what I hope to be one day.”
Hamlin is so close: He’s a three-time Daytona 500 champion and part owner of 23XI Racing with Michael Jordan. About the only flaw in his resume is the tournament he failed to win – and the first time in his career in the Cup.
Hamlin’s young daughter burst into tears of joy and sent her to retrieve the checkered flag. Taylor Hamlin grabbed the flag as she slid through the passenger side window and took a triumphant lap around Pocono with her father at the wheel.
TY . game
T Gibbs finished 16th in 23XI Racing in his first early career Cup for the injured Kurt Bosch.
Bush sustained a head injury during a severe injury Saturday in qualifying and was not allowed to race by NASCAR medical staff. That door opened for 19-year-old Gibbs.
In question, Joe Gibbs’ grandson wore a bush suit and Hamlin shoes.
Gibbs said, “I never thought I’d be racing with these guys. It was great to be next to them on the track. For 10-year-old Ty, it means a lot.”
Grandpa Joe was very proud. “He was frustrated that he couldn’t get any more of it,” Gibbs said. “I think he realizes how difficult it is.”
I don’t agree
Gibbs remains concerned that JGR has not yet reached a new contact with Kyle Busch.
“We thought we had two companies [were in] They ended up being disappointments for us,” Gibbs said. But it’s tough and daunting.”
IndyCar and NASCAR are teaming up next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Saturday’s IndyCar races on the road track; NASCAR races Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.