NASCAR: Joe Gibbs Racing Makes Decision in Appealing DQ’s of Drivers Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch

by Bryan Fyalkowski

The deadline for Joe Gibbs Racing to appeal the disqualifications of drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch has gone and passed. JGR did not appeal to NASCAR by the deadline this afternoon. That means the disqualifications stand and Chase Elliott remains the winner of Sunday’s M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway.

After the disqualification ruling, Brad Moran, Managing Director of NASCAR’s Cup Series, explained the issues with the No. 11 and No. 18 cars:

“We were doing our post-race inspections,” Moran said in a press conference. “There were some issues discovered that affect [the aerodynamics] of the vehicle. The part was the front facia, and there really was no reason why there was some material somewhere where it shouldn’t have been and that basically comes down to a DQ.”

Later last night, team owner Joe Gibbs issued the following statement:

Based on Gibbs’ quote from Sunday, the team definitely did its research before ultimately making the decision not to appeal NASCAR’s decision.

Joe Gibbs Racing Loses Win, Chase Elliott Won’t Ask for Trophy

The beneficiary of Denny Hamlin and Busch’s disqualifications by NASCAR was Chase Elliott. Elliott and the No. 9 car originally finished in third place at Pocono Raceway on Sunday. But he was awarded the win after the No. 11 and No. 18 cars failed the post-race inspection.

On Monday morning, Elliott joined a Zoom call with media and fielded questions about his feelings on the whole thing.

“This isn’t a win I’m going to celebrate anyway. For me, I don’t really feel right celebrating someone else’s misfortune” he shared. “I crossed the line third, so that’s kind of how I’m looking at it.”

As for the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 trophy itself, Elliott says Hamlin should not expect a knock on his front door anytime soon.

“Honestly, if he wants to keep it he can keep it, as far as I’m concerned. He crossed the finish line first,” Elliott said. “I didn’t feel like I earned it on the track yesterday. So, if he wants to keep it, then I’m good with that. I’m not gonna ask for it.”

Regardless of how the appeal process ended up, Elliott was determined to just be a good sport about the whole thing and move on.