Josh Reaume

Getty Images

Ross Chastain wins Truck Series race at Gateway, passes inspection

3 Comments

Ross Chastain beat Todd Gilliland in a seven-lap shootout to win Saturday night’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

The win comes a week after a post-race inspection failure resulted in Chastain’s win at Iowa Speedway being given to Brett Moffitt. He passed inspection Saturday night.

The top five was completed by Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith and Moffitt.

Chastain led 21 laps. He took the lead during green flag pit stops when his Niece Motorsports team elected to take fuel only.

“These guys went home and we were mad,” Chastain told FS1. “Felt like we had one taken from us. Holy cow. … They believed in me. I didn’t want to take tires. Then it was up to me to freaking hold them off, I don’t know how.”

Chastain, who switched his points declaration from Xfinity to Trucks after eight races in the Truck season, must be in the top 20 in points to qualify for the playoffs. He is now 38 points behind Josh Reaume in 20th.

Chastain is also winner of the final “Triple Truck Challenge” $50,000 bonus.

“Oh, I’m going to take that money home and they’re not going to take it from us,” Chastain said.

The final restart was setup by a wreck involving Harrison Burton and Sheldon Creed.

Chastain restarted ahead of Christian Eckes, who had 57 laps. Eckes spun from contact on the last lap while racing Gilliland and Friesen. He finished 14th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

MORE: Click here for race results

MORE: Click here for the point standings

WHAT’S NEXT: Camping World 225 at Chicagoland Speedway at 9 p.m. ET on June 28 on FS1

Niece Motorsports’ Iowa penalty upheld

5 Comments

A National Motorsports Appeals Panelist affirmed and upheld Ross Chastain‘s disqualification from winning Sunday’s Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway for his truck being too low.

Wednesday’s decision cannot be further appealed by the team based on section 14.6.f of the rule book, which states:

“In a Race Disqualification Appeal, the decision of the Panelist, which could be an Appeals Panelist, FAO, or his/her alternates, under Section 14 Appeals to the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel, will be considered final and there is no ability to appeal the decision to the Final Appeals Office as outlined in Section 15 Final Appeal to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer.”

The appeal was heard by Bryan Moss, National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer.

The team released statements from owner Al Niece, general manager Cody Efaw and Chastain regarding the decision.

Chastain’s win Sunday at Iowa Speedway was given to Brett Moffitt after Chastain’s No. 44 Chevrolet was found to be too low, with Truck Series managing director Brad Moran describing it as being “extremely low.”

As a result, Chastain lost all the stage points and race win points he received and was given a last-place finish and just five points. He also lost the $50,000 “Triple Truck Challenge” bonus.

Team owner Al Niece said in a statement after the disqualification was announced that the truck “sustained minor damage during the event, which left the truck too low following the race.”

MORE: Ross Chastain “100 percent confident” he will make playoffs after penalty

With the penalty being upheld, Chastain enters this weekend’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway 35th in the standings with 43 points.

After switching his points declaration from Xfinity to the Truck Series after eight truck races, he must win in the next six races and be 20th in the standings to qualify for the playoffs.

He’s 69 points behind Josh Reaume, who is 20th in the season standings.

 

Ross Chastain stands by team ‘100 percent’ as they appeal Iowa penalty

Leave a comment

Despite losing his win, a $50,000 bonus and almost all of the points he accumulated Sunday at Iowa Speedway, Ross Chastain is still “proud” of the dominating performance by Niece Motorsports in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race.

But that performance was taken out of the record books after the front his No. 44 Chevrolet was found to be “extremely low,” violating the ride-height rules. Chastain’s wins now belongs to Brett Moffitt.

“We stomped everybody’s tails out in Iowa and I’m proud of that and our Niece Motorsports team is proud of that,” Chastain said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “SiriusXM Speedway. “A little technical hiccup there after the race isn’t going to take away the fact that we start started 19th, won both stages. We were able to drive past trucks. We never got passed once all day.” 

Chastain is credited with a last-place finish and only five points earned instead of 60, a major hit for his hopes of making the Truck Series playoffs after switching his points declaration from Xfinity after eight races in the season.

In the next six races Chastain must win once and be inside the top 20 in the standings to qualifying for the playoffs. Chastain has 43 points. He’s 69 points behind Josh Reaume, who is 20th in the season standings.

“It was a pretty incredible day and something I will never forget and I will not let anything take it away from us,” Chastain said. “No old rule that still is in effect that isn’t applicable anymore, but the rules are the rules, we understand that. But we still kicked their butts and I’m proud of it.”

Chastain affirmed that “I stand by my guys” after the penalty, which the team is appealing.

“I stand by everything we do,” Chastain said. “We have something pretty incredible, something I’ve never been a part of in the Truck Series, where you have a group of guys that pushes as hard as this group does and makes as much speed.

“At the end of the day everybody can talk about their guys working their tails off and all that but we have speed. That’s so hard to find. A lot of times you don’t know why you have it, but I know we have it and we’re only getting better and we’re only going to be stronger as we move forward. We’ve got more trucks coming. We’re building better pieces and putting them together better. So no, I don’t know what the deal is with the truck, but I’m behind them 100%.”

Chastain admitted he looked at reaction on social media, which included accusations that the violation was committed on purpose.

“I’ve got to say, man, in my opinion, I really don’t agree with it, thinking that we did something during the race, cars can be modified tremendously and illegally, I don’t agree with that and I hate that that stuff gets talked about because it’s just not the case,” Chastain said. “Anybody in the sport … knows that tech ride height is not indicative of how low the race car is on the sport. I wish that was explained a little better. I hate that the sport is in a point that people don’t understand the difference between tech height and dynamic height on the race track.”

 

NASCAR disqualifies Ross Chastain’s winning truck for failing inspection

Getty Images
4 Comments

For the first time since NASCAR instituted a rule before this season that a winning vehicle would be disqualified if it failed inspection, Ross Chastain‘s winning Truck Sunday at Iowa Speedway failed inspection and was disqualified.

Brett Moffitt, who crossed the finish line second, was declared the winner and also gets the $50,000 bonus for winning a Triple Truck Challenge race.

Chastain’s truck was found to be too low in the front.

MORE: Updated race results  

MORE: Updated points report

Chastain’s team, Niece Motorsports, announced Sunday afternoon that it would appeal the decision. In a statement from team owner Al Niece, he said that Chastain’s truck “sustained minor damage during the event, which left the truck too low following the race.”

That appeal process will be expedited. Should the team lose that appeal, they cannot appeal the decision any further based on section 14.6.f of the rule book, which states:

“In a Race Disqualification Appeal, the decision of the Panelist, which could be an Appeals Panelist, FAO, or his/her alternates, under Section 14 Appeals to the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel, will be considered final and there is no ability to appeal the decision to the Final Appeals Office as outlined in Section 15 Final Appeal to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer.”

Brad Moran, managing director of the Gander Outdoors Truck Series said after the race: “We have a procedures and rules in place, trucks are restricted on their ride heights at the front and rear of the vehicles. Unfortunately, the 44 (Chastain’s truck) was low on the front, extremely low.

“We have a process of what happens at that point. They do get an opportunity to roll around. They put fuel in the vehicle, they air the tires. Give them at least five to 10 minutes. Check them a second time. Unfortunately, the 44 did not rise on the front at all.”

Here is the section in the rule book on ride heights:

Chastain was a part of Motor Racing Network’s broadcast of the Xfinity race on Sunday and addressed what happened in the Truck race to his team.

“It’s tough,” he said. “It was tough to walk up here (to the radio booth) across the frontstretch and walk by victory lane and where everything has happened, yeah, they took it away from us. It’s an old rule that they stand by and … the lower series of all the divisions still go by ride height rules and Cup Series has gotten away from it but we were just too low. The truck wouldn’t come back up. I’m not sure why. They wouldn’t let us look under the hood or anything. It went through (inspection) before the race.

“In any race car these days … it’s been this way for the last 25 years, the lower you get it, the better it handles. We, as racers and the race teams, our trucks, when we go around the race track are scraping the ground even though our ride height rules (are higher than that). You go through tech pre-race and it has to be up at that predetermined amount.

“As soon as we get into the truck and I come off pit road, every race truck in the field and race car in this Xfinity Series, it falls down on the ground and you race right scraping the ground. That’s why we have splitters and our side skirts are made to wear so that we can handle the bumps and still have the aero platform we want. Then, whenever you come in, you’re supposed to have it where it automatically comes back up. It’s just physics and mechanical parts and something on ours just didn’t push quite hard enough.

“I don’t know what the problem was, but we still won that race. Like you said, we won both stages, we led a ton of laps. It’s still a dream come true, but, yeah, they took it away. It’s kind of ironic now that we’re sitting next to NASCAR (officials) up here in the booth.”

This is Moffitt’s first win of the season and the eighth of his career. Ben Rhodes finished second and Harrison Burton placed third. Moffitt did not lead any of the race’s 200 laps. Chastain led 141. Racing Insights has no record of a winner in NASCAR ever leading zero laps but notes that lead lap information in the 1950s and ’60s is incomplete.

“It’s a big change of emotions and obviously this is not the way I want to win it as a race car driver, I still know I got beat on track, which is frustrating,” Moffitt said. “Back in the beginning of the year when NASCAR implemented this system, it was to clear up the Tuesday disqualifications and the encumbered wins and let the fans know and everyone else know who actually won the race. I’d still would rather take the checkered and be the first one to it, but I’ll take a win anyway I can get it and that solidifies our playoff spot.”

Moffitt said he was on the way to the airport when his team called him and told him to return to the track.

Should Chastain’s team not win the appeal, it could prove devastating to his playoff hopes. He changed what series he scored points in from Xfinity to Trucks on June 4. Chastain needs a victory in the last six regular-season races and be in the top 20 in points to be eligible for the playoffs.

With the disqualification, Chastain is listed as finishing last (32nd) and receives last-place points (five) instead of 60 he would have gotten. He loses all the points (and playoff points) for the win and also loses the stage and playoff points for winning both stages.

Chastain has 43 points. He’s 69 points behind Josh Reaume, who is 20th in the season standings.

 and on Facebook

Johnny Sauter wins truck pole at Texas

Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Johnny Sauter won the pole for tonight’s Truck series race at Texas Motor Speedway with a track record lap of 188.758 mph.

This is Sauter’s first pole of 2018 and sixth in his career. His most recent pole came at Texas in June 2016, 59 races ago.

Noah Gragson (188.594 mph) was .025 seconds slower.

Stewart Friesen (188.160), Brett Moffitt (187.905) and David Gilliland (187.761) rounded out the top five.

Playoff contender Justin Haley (186.593) qualified sixth.

In the second round of qualification, Todd Gilliland got loose exiting Turn 2 and made contact with the wall.

In the first round, Ben Rhodes slapped the wall before settling into 16th on the grid.

Playoff contender Grant Enfinger (185.179) qualified 13th.

In 14th, Matt Crafton (185.014) was the worst qualifier among the remaining playoff contenders.

Josh Reaume and Reid Wilson failed to qualify.

Click here for the starting lineup