DARLINGTON, S.C. – NASCAR announced that Denny Hamlin‘s winning failed inspection after the race and was disqualified.
Cole Custer, who finished second to Hamlin on the track., was declared the winner.
Hamlin’s car was the only car among the six cars NASCAR inspected (the original top-five finishers and a random, which was Noah Gragson‘s car) after the race.
NASCAR announced that Hamlin’s car failed heights after the race. The car was found to be too low on the left front and too high on the right rear.
Wayne Auton, managing director of the Xfinity Series, noted that Joe Gibbs Racing has until noon Monday to decide if to appeal the penalty.
With Hamlin being relegated to last, Tyler Reddick finished second. Ryan Blaney was third. Christopher Bell placed fourth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fifth.
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Custer said “It’s a really strange feeling” to win this way.
“You don’t want to win that way, but it is what it is,” Custer said. “We all play by the same rules.”
Custer said he was standing by the team’s hauler after the race when he found out.
“I Stone Cold’d two beers,” Custer said of doing his trademark celebration once he found out he had won, “and got a picture by the car.”
This marked the fourth time in the Xfinity Series this season that a car has been disqualified after a race but the first time it has been a winner.
“We’re in the middle of a 15-week stretch (of races), the playoffs are coming and everybody is pushing everything they can to get that little bit they can to win a race,” Auton said of the four disqualifications this season in the Xfinity Series.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell had his third-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway in June taken away when his car failed inspection. His car was found to be too low in the front and too high in the rear.
Kaulig Racing has twice had AJ Allmendinger‘s car disqualified. The car was disqualified after Allmendinger’s third-place finish at Daytona in July was taken away when inspection showed that the engine would not hold a vacuum. Allmendinger’s second-place finish was taken away when his car failed to meet minimum height requirements at Watkins Glen.
The disqualification to Hamlin marked the second time a national series winner has been disqualified this year. Ross Chastain‘s winning truck was disqualified after it was found to be too low in the front.