Niece Motorsports and Ross Chastain lose appeal of disqualified win

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nascar/truck/drivers/2991" data-ylk="slk:Ross Chastain">Ross Chastain</a> celebrated a win that disappeared hours later because his truck failed post-race inspection. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Ross Chastain celebrated a win that disappeared hours later because his truck failed post-race inspection. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

NASCAR’s first disqualification of 2019 has been upheld.

On Wednesday, Niece Motorsports lost its appeal of Ross Chastain’s disallowed win in Sunday’s Truck Series race at Iowa. Chastain’s truck failed post-race inspection after NASCAR found it to be too low in the front. It was the first post-race disqualification since NASCAR implemented a rule ahead of the 2019 season that took the win away from trucks that failed post-race inspection.

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“Although our team disagrees with the decision, we have exhausted our options for recourse and must move on,” team owner Al Niece said in a statement. “Our sights will remain set on the obstacle in front of us — which is making the playoffs. I firmly believe that Ross and this Niece Motorsports team are capable of rising to the challenge, no matter what gets in our way.”

Brett Moffitt, who finished second to Chastain, is officially the winner of the race. Chastain said Tuesday on the must-listen NASCAR on NBC podcast that the team will feel the effects of the penalty for some time.

“There will be fallout from this for us for a long time,” Chastain said Tuesday during a taping of a NASCAR on NBC Podcast episode (which will be released next week; a video snippet is available above). “It shook (team owner) Al Niece and all of us to our cores (asking), ‘What are we doing? Why are we doing this?’ Al’s prepared for years to win races, and the amount of investment and infrastructure he’s put into this race team, and to get your second win, and they take it away.

“I think it really made him think about why is he doing this? And is this worth doing? It did. He’s a guy who wears his emotion on his sleeve just like I do. He’s honest. And he came in the shop (Monday) and had some, for me, very bone-jarring words that was like, ‘Holy cow, this could have a really bad effect on all our futures, his included, in NASCAR.’

Chastain’s win appeared to qualify him for the Truck Series playoffs. He won at Kansas in May but was running for Xfinity Series points at the time. He switched to Truck Series points earlier in June and had eight races to get a win and make the top 20 in the points standings to qualify for the eight-driver playoff field.

The lack of depth in the Truck Series made the top 20 goal the easier of the two. Despite the DQ, Chastain should still make the top 20 if he keeps running well. But now he has just six more opportunities to get a win. Legally, of course.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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