NEWTON, Iowa – NASCAR has canceled its victory for the first time since 1960 on Sunday when Brett Moffitt was declared winner of the Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway after Ross Chastain's # 44 truck failed an inspection. post-trace.
Chastain led the last 141 laps of the 200-lap race. But the show's general manager, Brad Moran, said the truck was too low when he was measured with NASCAR's pitch sticks. The Chastain team has until noon ET Monday to appeal the decision.
"The pitch sticks contain yellow warnings and reds, and they were in order, so unfortunately they were extremely low," said Moran.
The disqualification was the first time that strict new rules had been put in place at the beginning of the season to deter the culture of cheating. She was offering a long-awaited victory to Moffitt, a native of Iowan on his national circuit.
"I think for the integrity of the sport, it's the right thing to do," said Moffitt, who has never led a ride in the race. "I'm obviously out on the right side – if I were in Ross's place, that would not please me too much."
The last time NASCAR was disqualified as an apparent winner of the race was April 17, 1960, when Emanuel Zervakis' victory at Wilson Speedway, North Carolina, was rejected because of an oversized fuel tank .
NASCAR announced in February that thorough inspections after the race would take place right after the run on the runway instead of being done midweek at the Regulatory Research and Development Center located at outside Charlotte, North Carolina.
Winning teams found in violation of the rules of previous seasons have been sanctioned with fines after the race, deductions of points and / or suspensions. But the drivers have not won any victory until this year.
The decision could prove devastating for the Chastain season.
Chastain has recently switched the championship for which he competed in the Xfinity series in 2019 to that of trucks, a risky decision that left him at the bottom of the rankings. The apparent victory in Iowa implied that Chastain only finished 20th in the overall truck rankings to qualify for the playoffs. The pilot nicknamed "The Melon Man" was so pleased that he crushed a watermelon on the ground. way of victory.
Instead, Chastain was scored as he had finished last, and his victory and bonus points were removed. Chastain also lost the $ 50,000 he earned by winning the first "Triple Truck Challenge", in which Iowa participated.
Chastain, who spoke at a press conference after his apparent victory, could not be located to comment after the announcement of his disqualification.
As for Moffitt, he said he was drinking beers in his motorhome while he was traveling to the Des Moines airport, nearby.
Moffitt was summoned again for the press conference of the second winner of the day.
"I went to drink my sorrows away to be happy," said Moffitt.