Race winner Denny Hamlin and runner-up Kyle Busch were disqualified following post-race inspection Sunday night which left third-place Chase Elliott with the unexpected victory.
After electing not to appeal the disqualifications, JGR released the following statement on Monday from its director of competition Wally Brown:
“In our review of the post-race infractions on the Nos. 11 and 18 cars at Pocono it was discovered that a single piece of clear tape was positioned over each of the lower corners of the front fascia ahead of the left-front and right-front wheel openings on both those cars.
“The added pieces were 2 inches wide and 5½ inches long with a thickness of 0.012 inches and installed under the wrap. This change in our build process was not properly vetted within our organization and we recognize it is against NASCAR’s rules.
“We apologize to everyone for this mistake, and we have made changes to our processes to ensure that it does not happen again.”
As a result of the DQs, both drivers received last-place points and lost all stage points and playoff points accumulated in the race.
Further explanation from NASCAR
Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, said in an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the first and second-place cars as well as a random car typically go through a more extensive teardown in post-race inspection.
Part of that process is removing some of the wrap (livery) on the cars for closer inspection.
“It was on the lower fascia … the bottom part of the nose that attaches to the splitter. The nose is kind of a two-piece affair there and the lower part is called the fascia,” he said. “It was extra layers of vinyl (tape) that in effect, deviated the part from the approved CAD file.”
CAD (computer-aided design) files are digital files that house 3D and 2D designs as well as information regarding materials, processes, tolerances, and other data of the car design.
Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson issued a statement Monday after in which he said he was “disappointed” with the disqualifications.
“However, as we’ve stated in throughout the Next Gen process, we applaud NASCAR’s hyper-vigilance when it comes to policing the rules on this new car. We have been in close communication with Joe Gibbs Racing and they have acknowledged that the tape added to the front fascia of the No. 11 and No. 18 was not permissible by NASCAR’s rules,” he said.
“We stand by the team’s decision not to appeal the disqualifications and also continue to stand by NASCAR’s efforts to keep the playing field fair for everyone competing in the series.”