Elliott Awarded Pocono Victory After Hamlin & Busch are Disqualified

Elliott Awarded Pocono Victory After Hamlin & Busch are Disqualified

Pocono Raceway is often referred to as “The Tricky Triangle” due to its unusual shape and three distinct turns. However, the track proved to be extra tricky for Denny Hamlin as he failed to hold onto any gains he made throughout the weekend.

After Hamlin won pole position during qualifying, his #11 Toyota Camry failed pre-race inspection twice. As a result, he lost his pit-stall selection as well as his car chief. Then, after battling back from a brush with the wall and a mid-race spin, Hamlin won Sunday’s event. However, his car failed post-race inspection and he was stripped of the victory and all points.

LAP 1: The Toyota driver led the field to the green flag and immediately brushed the wall in Turn 1, which cost him several positions and allowed his teammate, Kyle Busch, to take the top spot.

CAUTION – LAP 6: Austin Cindric in the #2 brought out the first caution of the day when both right-side tires went flat while exiting Turn 3. Cindric spun down the front stretch and made slight contact with the inside wall, but was able to continue racing after pitting for new tires. On the restart, Kyle Larson was able to take the lead away from Kyle Busch.

CAUTION – LAP 27: Just before the end of the stage, the #10 of Aric Almirola spun on the exit of Turn 3 with flat right-side tires, similar to Cindric.

STAGE 1 END – LAP 30: The segment ended under caution, allowing Kyle Larson to pick up the stage win and the playoff point. Behind him – Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Daniel Suarez also finished in the Top 5 respectively and collected points. Due to pit strategy, Larson lost the top spot, which eventually cycled through to Kyle Busch.

CAUTION – LAP 35: A lap after the restart to begin the second stage, the yellow flag flew again. This time, it was for the #77 of Josh Bilicki, who spun by himself in Turn 1.

CAUTION – LAP 40: On the restart after Bilicki’s spin, the #11 of Denny Hamlin spun when he got too low in Turn 2. His splitter hit the apron of the track, which sent the #11 around, but Hamlin was able to correct the car without sustaining any damage.

CAUTION – LAP 44: Corey Lajoie in the #7 made contact with the #34 of Michael McDowell which caused Lajoie to spin in Turn 1. Both cars were able to continue without significant damage.

CAUTIOn – LAP 82: The #42 of Ty Dillon brought out the yellow when he spun by himself on the straightaway between Turns 2 and 3.

STAGE 2 END – LAP 95: Kyle Busch won the stage and collected a much-needed playoff point. Behind him – Ross Chastain, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, and Denny Hamlin all finished in the top five as well.

LAP 122: Busch gave up the lead to make his final green-flag pit stop of the race. When the pit cycle ran through, Ross Chastain in the #1 picked up the lead after Busch had a slightly slower stop.

CAUTION – LAP 137: After struggling and fighting an ill-handling race car all day, Ryan Blaney in the #12 got loose coming out of Turn 3 and spun. He made heavy head-on contact with the inside wall and had to retire from the race.

CAUTION – LAP 142: The restart between Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain was hectic as the two drivers have a well-documented feud this season. Hamlin pushed Chastain high in Turn 1, sending the #1 into the outside wall and then ricocheting into the outside wall. Chastain retired from the race with significant damage, while Hamlin battled Kyle Busch on the final restart.

CHECKERED FLAG – LAP 160: Denny Hamlin crossed the line ahead of Kyle Busch to win his 3rd race of the season.

POST-RACE: Chase Elliott was declared the winner at Pocono Raceway on Sunday after the cars of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch — who initially crossed the finish line first and second, respectively — were disqualified following post-race inspection.

“There were some issues discovered that affect aero of the vehicle. The part was the front fascia,” said NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director, Brad Moran. “And there really was no reason why there was some material that was somewhere that it shouldn’t have been, and that does basically come down to a DQ.”

Moran confirmed both vehicles were loaded into a NASCAR hauler and will be taken back to the sanctioning body’s R&D center for further evaluation.

RESULTS:

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Tyler Reddick
  3. Daniel Suarez
  4. Christopher Bell
  5. Kyle Larson
  6. Michael McDowell
  7. Martin Truex Jr
  8. Bubba Wallace
  9. Erik Jones
  10. Austin Dillon
  11. Alex Bowman
  12. William Byron
  13. Aric Almirola
  14. Brad Keselowski
  15. Chase Briscoe
  16. Ty Gibbs
  17. Cole Custer
  18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr
  19. Corey Lajoie
  20. Joey Logano
  21. Justin Haley
  22. Ty Dillon
  23. Harrison Burton
  24. Noah Gragson
  25. Toss Gilliland
  26. Cody Ware
  27. Kevin Harvick
  28. JJ Yeley
  29. Chris Buescher
  30. BJ McLeod
  31. Austin Cindric
  32. Ross Chastain
  33. Ryan Blaney
  34. Josh Bilicki
  35. Denny Hamlin (Disqualified)
  36. Kyle Busch (Disqualified)
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