The first disqualification under NASCAR’s new post-race inspection rules is here. And, of course, it happened to Ross Chastain.
Chastain won Sunday’s Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway but his truck failed post-race inspection for being too low in the front. That means the win is taken away from Chastain and given to second-place finisher Brett Moffitt.
Before 2019, NASCAR had let teams and drivers officially keep a win with a fine and points penalty attached if the vehicle didn’t pass post-race inspection. But in an effort to make post-race inspection more straightforward this season, NASCAR said it would start to disqualify those who failed inspection after the race.
No one had failed until Chastain’s truck did on Sunday. The team is appealing the penalty.
Chastain recently declared for truck points
Chastain’s had one heck of a rollercoaster ride in NASCAR over the last two seasons. After driving for underfunded teams throughout his career he scored a three-race run with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Xfinity Series team in 2018.
He won in his second start with CGR and put himself in line for a full season in the No. 42 car in 2019. But team sponsor DC Solar turned out to be a(n alleged) Ponzi Scheme and the company filed for bankruptcy after an FBI raid.
The folding of DC Solar meant CGR didn’t have any funding for its Xfinity team. And Chastain was out of a ride. He went back to JD Motorsports while also running in the Truck Series and the Cup Series.
After winning the Truck Series race at Kansas in May, Chastain made the decision to declare for Truck Series points in the hopes of competing for the championship. And to get to the playoffs, Chastain needed to win one of the final eight regular season races and get into the top 20 in points.
The top 20 was a foregone conclusion given the way Chastain was performing. And the win was too after the way he dominated Sunday’s race.
But now the win doesn’t count. And Chastain loses a lot of points too.
Assuming the team loses its appeal — a safe assumption but not a guarantee — Chastain now has just six races to win and get into the top 20. A tall task that looked accomplished is now even taller.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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