For the first time since NASCAR revealed that it would disqualify teams that failed post-race inspection across all three NASCAR national tours, a driver who was flagged the winner had the win taken away for a technical infraction.
On Sunday at Iowa Speedway, Ross Chastain’s winning Gander Outdoor Truck Series entry failed inspection and was disqualified. As a result, Brett Moffitt, who was flagged second, was declared the winner.
Chastain’s Niece Motorsports No. 44 truck was found to have been too low in inspection, a violation of the division’s ride height rules.
Niece Motorsports said it would appeal the decision. The team believes the failure was the result of sustaining minor damage after the drop of the green flag. The appeal decision will be final, according to the rule book.
The disqualification is costly on several fronts for Chastain.
The result, should it stand, will cost him both his second victory of the season and the first since declaring for points in the Truck Series two weeks ago. The victory had placed him position to qualify for the playoffs but now he will need to win again over the next six races.
With the disqualification, Chastain is listed as having finished 32nd and receiving only five points. The penalty could carry an additional 10-point loss. Chastain will also lose the two playoff points he earned as a result of his first and second stage victories.
This race was also the second of the Triple Truck Challenge, which carries with it a $50,000 bonus for winning any of the three and $150,000 for winning two of the three.
Greg Biffle won the first of the three race challenge last week at Texas Motor Speedway, meaning that the $500,000 bonus for winning all three is now off the table.
Brad Moran, managing director of the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, spoke to the media after the race and outlined the reasons for the penalty.
“We have a procedures and rules in place. Trucks are restricted on their ride heights at the front and rear of the vehicles. Unfortunately, the 44 was low on the front, extremely low.
“We have a process of what happens at that point. They do get an opportunity to roll around. They put fuel in the vehicle, they air the tires. Give them at least five to 10 minutes. Check them a second time. Unfortunately, the 44 did not rise on the front at all.”
Moffitt’s victory was the first of the season and eighth of his career. He is the reigning series champion. With the updated results, Ben Rhodes finished second and Harrison Burton placed third. Moffitt won the race without officially leading a single lap.
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