When Denny Hamlin was disqualified, NASCAR was shaken up. However, there’s more than just a win that’s been taken here. Hamlin is also going to miss out on those coveted playoff points, as well. It’s a tough break for the No. 11 team.
Chase Elliott has taken quite a lead in pretty much all points standings. Hamlin’s win was a big push against that lead – now it’s wiped away and given to the one driver already in a comfortable lead.
The lead that Elliott has built-in playoff points might give him the edge he needs in the postseason. Here’s the difference between what would have been and what is now a reality — Elliott would have 20 playoff points and Hamlin would have moved into second place with 17. Behind him would be Ross Chastain and William Byron with 13 points each and then Joey Logano with 12.
Here’s what it looked like right after the race, before the DQ.
But in reality, here on Monday, July 25, 2022 — Chase now has 25 playoff points. Chastain has 14, Byron 13, Logano 12, and from there it’s all the same as it could have been. Denny Hamlin now only has 12 playoff points with five races remaining.
While Elliott said he wouldn’t celebrate this race as a win, I’m sure he’s happy with his extra playoff points! Unless we see a real push from another driver like Chastain or Logano – that No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy is going to have a nice lead heading into the postseason.
Denny Hamlin hasn’t been able to win the elusive Cup Series championship. Now he has to regroup and focus on closing out the regular season strong.
Joe Gibbs Racing Won’t Appeal Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch DQs
Today it came out that Joe Gibbs Racing didn’t want anything to do with an appeal. Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch’s fates are sealed. It seems to have come down to the team’s own post-race inspection. They found pieces of tape on the lower corners of the front bumper of each car. The tape was just ahead of the wheel wells.
“We were shocked to learn of the interaction that cause our two cars to fail NASCAR’s post-race technical inspection,” JGR said late Sunday night. “We plan to review every part of the process that led to this situation.”
So, that review revealed some issues.
That tape just can’t be allowed and the team knows that they messed up. It seems that someone didn’t double-check their work. While this is a big hit, JGR and the drivers seem to want to move past it. Putting Pocono in the past might not be so easy, though. We may be looking back on this moment when the Bill France Cup is lifted as the moment that made the champion.