Josh Reaume

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NASCAR disqualifies Ross Chastain’s winning truck for failing inspection

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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.

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Johnny Sauter wins truck pole at Texas

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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

Brett Moffitt takes advantage of Kyle Busch’s woes to win Atlanta Truck race

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Brett Moffitt went from third to first on the restart in overtime and powered his way to his second career Camping World Truck Series win Saturday.

Moffitt’s victory marked the first for Hattori Racing Enterprises, which made its debut in 2013. Noah Gragson placed second and Daytona winner Johnny Sauter was third at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

MORE: Race results, points report

A late caution for an incident involving Josh Reaume and Dalton Sargeant set in stage a series of events that cost Kyle Busch a chance to become the second driver in series history with 50 wins.

Busch led a parade down pit road for fresh tires. Busch’s team planned to take four tires but problems on the right front led to the team telling Busch to pull out of his pit stall after the right front was secured. Only problem was that the lug nuts on the left rear were removed. Busch didn’t get too far beyond pit exit before his left rear tire rolled off. Busch finished 21st.

Stage 1 winner: Noah Gragson

Stage 2 winner: Kyle Busch

How Brett Moffitt won: He restarted third in overtime behind Myatt Snider, who had taken only two tires. Moffitt had four. Snider had no chance. Moffitt got around Snider cleanly and surged to the lead.

Who else had a good day: Daytona winner Johnny Sauter finished third to give him back-to-back top-five finishes to open the season. Sauter has finished no worse than third in each of the last six Truck races, dating back to last year. … Noah Gragson bounced back from a 23rd-place finish at Daytona to place second at Atlanta.

Who had a bad day: Justin Haley had a flat right rear tire nine laps before the end of the first stage. He lost two laps on the green-flag stop. Haley never made it back on the lead lap and finished 22nd. … The audible by Kyle Busch’s team on a slow pit stop before overtime proved disastrous. Busch took off as told after both ride-side tires were changed but the lug nuts on the left rear were removed. The left rear came off shortly after Busch exited pit road.

Notable: Jesse Little finished a career-high eighth. His previous best in 13 previous series starts was ninth.

Quote of the day: “This is unbelievable to be in a race car at this point, let alone in Victory Lane,’’ said winner Brett Moffitt, whose deal with the team came shortly before the season started.

Next: Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

NASCAR bulletin issues rule changes on tires and testing

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NASCAR issued a bulletin Tuesday containing various updates to the Rule Book.

The changes include a reduction in how many sets of tires a team can have for Sprint Cup races at Martinsville, Dover, Pocono, Michigan, Sonoma, Kentucky, New Hampshire Indianapolis and Watkins Glen. NASCAR cut the number of sets by one at each track for those races.

Teams will be allowed 10 sets of tires for Sunday’s race at Martinsville. They’ll have nine sets of race tires available at Dover, Michigan, Kentucky and Indianapolis. Teams will have eight sets of tires for both Pocono races with seven sets available at New Hampshire’s July race and five race sets at Sonoma and Watkins Glen.

With a set of tires costing about $1,900, having to buy one less set will save teams teams about $20,000.

NASCAR also reduced how many sets of tires teams are allowed for practice and qualifying by one set at Talladega (now allowed three sets), Daytona (three), Sonoma (four), Watkins Glen (four) and the August Bristol event (four). This reduction will save teams about $10,000.

NASCAR has not set the limits for tires for the races starting with Richmond in September through the end of the season. Those races could provide teams more savings.

NASCAR also clarified to teams that any driver entered in the Xfinity or Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year program is eligible for two additional tests at any track during the calendar year.

Each test can be no longer than two days. Multiple drivers can participate but all drivers must meet the definition of a rookie in that series. The tests can take place at a NASCAR-sanctioned track or any other track. Veteran drivers will be allowed to “shake down” each primary vehicle used for testing but must do so in a limited number of laps.

Drivers in the Xfinity Series who are competing for Rookie of the Year program include Darrell Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez, Cale Conley, Ross Chastain, Harrison Rhodes and Josh Reaume.

Drivers in the Camping World Truck Rookie of the Year program include Austin Theriault, Ray Black Jr., Korbin Forrister, Spencer Gallagher, Daniel Hemric, Justin Boston, Cameron Hayley, Cody Ware and Wendell Chavous.

 

Entry list for NASCAR Xfinity race at Phoenix International Raceway

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Forty-one cars are entered for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity race at Phoenix International Raceway.

The entry list includes both drivers who won NASCAR races last weekend at Las Vegas. Austin Dillon is again in the No. 33 car after winning the Xfinity race last weekend. Kevin Harvick takes over the No.  88 car after claiming last weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas.

 

Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter 200 – Phoenix International Raceway

Entry List

0-Harrison Rhodes (Chevrolet/TeamJDMotorsports.com)

01-Landon Cassill (Chevrolet/G&K Services)

1-Elliott Sadler (Ford/OneMain Financial)

2-Brian Scott (Chevrolet/Albertsons + Sanderson Farms)

3-Ty Dillon (Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops)

4-Ross Chastain (Chevrolet/TeamJDMotorsports.com)

6-Darrell Wallace Jr. (Ford/Ford Ecoboost)

7-Regan Smith (Chevrolet/Axalta Cromax)

8-Blake Koch (Toyota/TBD)

9-Chase Elliott (Chevrolet/NAPA Auto Parts)

10-Jeff Green (Toyota/TriStar Motorsports)

13-Derek White (Toyota/Braille Battery + Grafoid)

14-Cale Conley (Toyota/TBD)

15-TBA (Chevrolet/TBA)

16-Ryan Reed (Ford/Lilly American Diabetes Association)

18-Daniel Suarez (Toyota/ARRIS)

19-Mike Bliss (Toyota/TBD)

20-Matt Kenseth (Toyota/Resers)

22-Joey Logano (Ford/Discount Tire)

24-Eric McClure (Toyota/Hefty Reynolds Wrap)

25-Dylan Lupton (Chevrolet/Zaxby’s)

28-JJ Yeley (Toyota/Texas 28 Spirits Stage)

33-Austin Dillon (Chevrolet/Rheem)

39-Ryan Sieg (Chevrolet/Uncle Bob’s Self Storage)

40-Carl Long (Dodge/Braille Battery + Grafoid)

42-Brennan Poole (Chevrolet/DC Solar)

43-Dakoda Armstrong (Ford/WinField)

44-David Starr (Toyota/Zachry)

51-Jeremy Clements (Chevrolet/RepairableVehicles.com)

52-Joey Gase (Chevrolet/TBA)

54-Erik Jones (Toyota/Monster Energy)

55-Jamie Dick (Chevrolet/Viva Auto Group)

56-Charles Lewandoski (Chevrolet/Ole Energy)

60-Chris Buescher (Ford/Roush Performance Products)

62-Brendan Gaughan (Chevrolet/South Point)

70-Derrike Cope (Chevrolet/Wade Tractor + Adrenalin Power Sports)

74-Mike Harmon (Dodge/TBA)

88-Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet/TaxSlayer.com)

89-Morgan Shepherd (Chevrolet/Courtney Construction)

90-Mario Gosselin (Chevrolet/TBA)

97-Josh Reaume (Chevrolet/Obaika Racing)