For the first time in nearly 60 years, NASCAR disqualified the winner of a race Sunday.
It appeared as though Ross Chastain was the winner of the Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway.
Melon Man! Retweet to congratulate Ross Chastain on his Truck Series win at Iowa Speedway. pic.twitter.com/QCw34030a8
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 16, 2019
However, after the No. 44 truck failed a post-race inspection, NASCAR declared runner-up Brett Moffitt the winner.
Chastain’s truck was too low to the ground when the governing body measured the vehicle with its height sticks.
Brad Moran, the managing director of the M&M’s 200, explained what happened when Chastain’s truck was measured.
“The height sticks have warning yellows in them and reds, and it was right off of all of them, so unfortunately it was extremely low,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
So, instead of Chastain, who had the led in the final 141 of 200 laps on Sunday, Moffitt was declared the winner.
The Iowa native was pleased with the final outcome.
“I think, for the integrity of the sport, it’s the right thing to do,” Moffitt said, according to the AP. “Obviously I came out on the good end of it.
“If I was in Ross’s shoes, I wouldn’t be too thrilled about it.”
According to AutoWeek, the victory earned Moffitt a $50,000 bonus.
— Brett Moffitt (@Brett_Moffitt) June 17, 2019
In contrast, Chastain’s team, Niece Motorsports, was gearing up to fight the decision.
“Our Niece Motorsports team works hard to ensure that our race trucks are within the confines of NASCAR’s rules,” team owner Al Niece said in a statement. “Both of our Chevrolets passed opening and pre-race inspections.
“We believe that the No. 44 Truck sustained minor damage during the event, which left the truck too low following the race. We will appeal NASCAR’s decision. Regardless of the outcome, this team will be prepared to go to Gateway and win again.”
— Niece Motorsports (@NieceMotorsport) June 16, 2019
Chastain’s disqualification marks the first NASCAR has handed out to a race winner since April 17, 1960. Emanuel Zervakis was disqualified from a race at Wilson Speedway in North Carolina after it was discovered that his car had an oversized fuel tank.
In 1999, Mike Skinner was stripped of a win in a race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The day after he won, NASCAR reported that he used an unapproved cylinder head. Skinner appealed, however, and his victory was restored.
NASCAR announced in February that race-winning teams that failed post-race inspection would be disqualified.
“I think for us, we’re really looking at a total culture change,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said at the time. “We’ve been through a deterrence model where we’ve really worked with the race teams at the track and probably been more lenient than we should in terms of the number of times teams can go through inspection and pass, fail and there’s almost incentive to try to get something by NASCAR, so we want to really reverse that trend.
“We’re going to put it on the teams to bring their equipment right. When they come to the track, we’ll be much less lenient as they go through technical inspection with stiffer penalties in terms of qualifying, and then ultimately during the race, obviously we want everyone to be racing straight up.”
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