JGR declines to appeal disqualifications

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Joe Gibbs Racing declined to appeal the disqualification of both the race-winning No. 11 of Denny Hamlin and No. 18 of the second-place finisher, Kyle Busch, following the Pocono race Sunday evening. 

As the shock waves were still being felt throughout the community, NASCAR's Senior Vice President of Competition, Scott Miller spoke with host Dave Moody on the SiriusXM Speedway show Monday afternoon and described the issue as being some additional layers of vinyl on the fascia, which he described as the bottom part of the nose which attaches to the splitter. The addition of that vinyl caused the cars to fail inspection, prompting the disqualifications. 

“It was on the lower fascia and it was extra layers of vinyl that in effect deviated the part from the approved CAD files,” Miller said. “It’s standard procedure for post-race inspection to peel vinyl off parts of the car that we feel are critical. We had no inclination prior that there was anything there and were very surprised at what we found.”

Moody asked if the other JGR entries would be examined, and Miller said they would not, explaining that since NASCAR is not able to inspect the entire field at that level, they would not be pulling the other cars.

He also indicated that they did not consider reexamining the No. 9 car of Chase Elliott, who inherited the win, because that car's inspection had been completed. Miller wasn't sure the car was even still on the property since it had already been cleared. 

In years past, such an infraction would have been handed a points penalty and a fine, but the sanctioning body warned teams that the Next Gen car came with strict tolerances, and creativity with those specs would be met with severe consequences. 

Wally Brown, Competition Director for JGR, released a statement late Monday afternoon stating, "In our review of the post-race infractions on the No. 11 and No. 18 cars at Pocono, it was discovered that a single piece of clear tape was positioned over each of the lower corners of the front fascia ahead of the left-front and right-front wheel openings on both those cars." 

He went on to explain that the pieces were 2 inches wide, 5.5  inches long, 0.012 inches thick and had been installed under the wrap.

"This change in our build process was not properly vetted within our organization and we recognize it is against NASCAR’s rules. We apologize to everyone for this mistake, and we have made changes to our processes to ensure that it does not happen again.”

David Wilson, President of TRD (Toyota Racing Development), said in a statement that while Toyota and TRD were disappointed in the disqualifications, they, "applaud NASCAR's hypervigilance when it comes to policing rules on this new race car...We stand by the team's decision not to appeal the disqualifications, and also continue to stand by NASCAR's efforts to keep the playing field fair for everyone competing in the series."

Hamlin was credited with a 35th place finish and Busch with 36th. Hamlin fell from 19th to 21st in points, while Busch went from sixth to eighth. Both drivers have wins (Hamlin 2, Busch 1) to keep them solidly in the Playoff picture. 

JGR declines to appeal disqualifications JGR declines to appeal disqualifications Reviewed by Janine Cloud on Monday, July 25, 2022 Rating: 5