Elliott given Pocono win after Hamlin, Busch DQ’d

LONG POND, Pa. — NASCAR stripped Denny Hamlin of his win at Pocono Raceway when his No. 11 Toyota failed inspection and was disqualified, awarding Chase Elliott the Cup Sequence victory.

Joe Gibbs Racing had Hamlin’s automotive and runner-up Kyle Busch‘s No. 18 Toyota each disqualified. Hamlin misplaced his report seventh victory at Pocono and his third win of the season. Busch led a race-high 63 laps.

NASCAR believed the final time it disqualified an obvious winner was April 17, 1960, when Emanuel Zervakis’ victory at Wilson Speedway in North Carolina was thrown out due to an outsized gas tank.

The penalties might be appealed and each Toyotas had been despatched to NASCAR’s analysis and improvement heart in North Carolina.

“There was some points found that have an effect on aero within the automobile,” NASCAR Cup Sequence managing director Brad Moran mentioned. “There actually was no motive why there was some materials that was someplace it should not have been. And that does principally come right down to a DQ.”

Moran mentioned the components in query had been the entrance fascia — basically the nostril cone — and closing choices “needs to be sorted out by subsequent week.”

Elliott, who had completed third, was given his fourth win of the season. He by no means led a lap within the No. 9 Chevrolet.

Moran mentioned the inspection “guidelines have tightened up” with the introduction this season of a brand new automotive. NASCAR’s latest model is basically a equipment automotive. Groups get all the identical items from various distributors and have detailed directions relating to put it collectively.

“We do not need to be right here speaking about this drawback,” Moran mentioned. “However the groups and the house owners and all people was nicely conscious that this new automotive was going to be stored with some fairly tight tolerances. There’s some areas that every one the groups are nicely conscious that we can’t go down the trail that we had prior to now with the opposite automotive.”

The failures marred what had been a banner day for JGR.

Hamlin had seemingly received for the third time this season and handed Corridor of Fame driver Jeff Gordon for many wins at Pocono with seven. Hamlin swept two races at Pocono in his rookie season in 2006, and added wins in 2009, 2010, 2019 and 2020. Now, he stays tied with the four-time NASCAR champion.

Hamlin had lots to deal with from the beginning, when the pole sitter tagged the wall on the opening lap. He recovered — at 400 miles on the two 1/2-mile tri-oval there’s loads of racing forward — then needed to watch Busch lead nearly all of the race. Oh, then there was this thorny difficulty of settling a lingering rating with Ross Chastain.

Chastain wrecked Hamlin two instances in a month earlier this season — Hamlin counted two extra instances from final season — and was fed-up with the aggressive driving of the watermelon farmer. Hamlin refused to offer his rival an inch off a restart at Pocono and compelled Chastain into the wall with 16 laps left within the race. Chastain slammed the wall and triggered a wreck that collected a number of drivers, together with winless Kevin Harvick, who’s combating for a playoff spot.

“What did you need me to do? What did you count on me to do,” Hamlin requested within the quick aftermath.

Chastain, who has two wins this season driving for Trackhouse Racing, sheepishly understood comeuppance was due.

“I believe that is one thing that is been owed to me for a couple of months now,” Chastain mentioned.

Hamlin additionally misplaced his tie with former teammate Tony Stewart on NASCAR’s profession wins checklist with 49.

“We have simply been good pals and he is actually somebody that I look as much as from a expertise standpoint,” Hamlin mentioned. “He was the man that for 36 races was a menace to win, and that is what I hope to be some day.”

Hamlin is fairly shut: He is a three-time Daytona 500 champion and half proprietor of 23XI Racing with Michael Jordan. About the one blemish on his resume is the championship he is didn’t win — and the primary DQ of his Cup profession.

Hamlin’s younger daughter burst into tears of pleasure and he despatched her to retrieve the checkered flag. Taylor Hamlin clutched the flag as she slid via the passenger’s facet window and took a victory lap round Pocono with dad on the wheel.


Ty Gibbs completed 16th for 23XI Racing in his first profession Cup begin subbing for the injured Kurt Busch.

Busch suffered a head damage throughout a tough hit Saturday in qualifying and was not cleared to race by NASCAR’s medical employees. That opened the door for the 19-year-old Gibbs.

In a pinch, the grandson of Joe Gibbs wore Busch’s firesuit and Hamlin’s footwear.

“I by no means thought I might race with these guys,” Gibbs mentioned. “It was simply cool being subsequent to them on the observe. To 10-year-old Ty, meaning lots.”

Grandpa Joe was fairly proud. “He was discouraged that he could not get extra out of it,” Gibbs mentioned. “I believe he realizes how powerful it’s.”


Gibbs remained involved JGR has but to achieve a brand new contact with Kyle Busch.

“We had a few firms, we thought [were in] that wound as much as be disappointments for us,” Gibbs mentioned. “However it’s laborious and it’s discouraging.”


IndyCar and NASCAR share subsequent weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. IndyCar races Saturday on the highway course; NASCAR races Sunday.

The Related Press contributed to this story.

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