It was a dominant day turned sour for Ross Chastain, as he became the first driver to be disqualified under the new rules implemented by NASCAR.
Chastain won both stages and led 141 of 200 laps en route to initially capturing his second Gander Outdoors Truck Series win of the season. However, after failing post-race inspection, NASCAR, in controversial fashion, immediately stripped him of the victory and all points earned from the event due to the truck being too low.
It is an unfortunate ordeal for Chastain, who recently announced he was running for truck series points after starting the season pursing a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship. The 26-year-old desperately needed the win and a good day in general to help his chances of making the playoffs.
It is also unfortunate for Niece Motorsports, a team seemingly beginning to find a groove in the sport, who will now face even more pressure to provide equipment capable of winning on a weekly basis.
Most importantly though, it is not the preferred outcome for the fans who watched the event either in-person or on TV who watched one result live, only to be told of a different outcome long after the checkered flag flew, and the television coverage ended. There are likely fans out there that still don’t know Brett Moffitt won his first race of the season.
That being said, NASCAR absolutely made the right call.
For years, drivers and team were able to essentially break the rules, get penalized, but still be declared the “winner,” despite being caught red-handed. Not anymore.
When it was announced that winners had the threat of being stripped of their victory if they were found to be competing with an unfair advantage, it sounded good in theory. However, there was no guarantee that NASCAR was serious until they followed through.
While some may not like it, at the end of the day, Chastain failed the post-race inspection and did not deserve to leave Iowa Speedway with a trophy. NASCAR needed a situation like this to assert their seriousness, and when they got it, those in charge stepped up to the plate and followed through on their word.
Even if Chastain won his appeal and reclaimed his victory, the right call was made Sunday. Teams will always test the boundaries to see what they can and get away with; however, there is now a clear line in the sand as far as possible punishments may go now thanks in part to this ruling.
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