Hamlin crossed the finish line first and was followed by Busch on Sunday at Pocono. Less than two hours later, NASCAR announced that the cars of Hamlin and Busch had been disqualified.
Elliott, who crossed the finish line third, was declared the winner. He had left the track by then and said Monday that he didn’t find out he was the winner until his plane landed.
“For me, I don’t really feel right celebrating somebody’s misfortune,” Elliott said Monday.
Brad Moran, managing director of the Cup Series, said Sunday night that an issue was found with the front fascia of both JGR cars.
He said that the issue discovered impacts the “aero of the vehicle.”
Moran also said that “there really is no reason why there was some material that was somewhere it shouldn’t have been. That does basically come down to a DQ.”
NASCAR stated at the time that it could not go into many details because the penalty can be appealed. With the deadline passed for JRG to file an appeal, NASCAR’s Scott Miller will be on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 3:30 p.m. ET Monday.
NASCAR did state that this issue was found in post-race inspection because that is when NASCAR removes a portion of the car’s wrap as part of the teardown. Series officials do not remove a car’s wrap in pre-race inspection.
Moran said that NASCAR impounded both vehicles and took them to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further inspection.
Joe Gibbs Racing issued a statement from team owner Joe Gibbs late Sunday that read: “We were shocked to learn of the infraction that caused our two cars to fail NASCAR’s post-race technical inspection. We plan to review every part of the process that led to this situation.”
This marks the first time since April 17, 1960, that a Cup winner was disqualified. Emanuel Zervakis’ victory at Wilson Speedway in North Carolina was thrown out because of an oversized fuel tank. Joe Weatherly was declared the winner of that race.