The race-winning No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Martin Truex Jr. passed post-race technical inspection Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with no issues.
The No. 19 Toyota was found to be compliant with the 2019 NASCAR Rule Book after Truex Jr. won the NASCAR Playoffs opener, the South Point 400. Additionally, no cars are headed back to the R&D Center after the race.
Three cars were found to have one lug nut missing: The No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford of Aric Almirola (finished 13th), the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch (finished 19th) and the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Alex Bowman (finished sixth). Those will result in fines to the respective team’s crew chiefs.
With post-race teardown complete, the race results are official.
The post-race process is part of a new, more timely approach to inspection for all three NASCAR national series. Competition officials announced in February that thorough post-race inspections would take place shortly after the checkered flag at the track instead of midweek at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina.
Those inspections come with a stiffer deterrence structure that includes disqualification for significant rules infractions — “a total culture change,” according to Steve O‘Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. In the past, race-winning teams found in violation of the rules were penalized with post-race fines, points deductions and/or suspensions, but victories were allowed to stand.
Competition officials introduced the quicker post-race inspection timetable in an effort to make the results official on race day, aiming for a 90-minute target time frame to complete their scrutineering. The new post-race inspection process was also designed to deal with potential violations more promptly, avoiding any midweek news that might cloud the previous week‘s results or the build-up to the following week‘s event.
NASCAR will still inspect cars and parts at the R&D Center as needed, but the more comprehensive at-track inspection will take priority.
According to NASCAR statistical archives, the last time a premier-series driver was disqualified occurred in 1973, when early retiree Buddy Baker was demoted to last place in the National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The last time an apparent race winner in NASCAR‘s top division was disqualified came on April 17, 1960, when Emanuel Zervakis‘ victory at Wilson (N.C.) Speedway was thrown out because of an oversized fuel tank on his No. 85 Chevrolet.