CONCORD, N.C. – The disqualification of Ross Chastain’s No. 44 Chevrolet from Sunday’s M&M’s 200 presented by Casey’s General Stores at Iowa Speedway was affirmed and upheld by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel on Wednesday.
Chastain’s win was the first to be stripped under NASCAR’s new-for-2019 rules policy, implemented during the offseason, which expedited post-race technical inspection from a mid-week process to a 90-minute teardown at the race track after the race.
As such, if a driver is found in violation of post-race technical inspection this year, their finishing position, stage points and any benefits are removed and that driver receives last-place points for the given event.
Chastain’s Niece Motorsports truck repeatedly failed tech for being too low in the front after the race on Sunday. The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, unlike the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, does have minimum ride-height regulations which must be met.
Due to the disqualification, Brett Moffitt was awarded Sunday’s victory, while Chastain lost the seven playoff points and automatic bid into the playoffs he would have received upon cracking the top 20 in Truck Series driver points, as well as only earning five points total.
Wednesday’s decision is final and cannot be appealed further, unlike other appeals for rule-violation penalties.
“In a race disqualification appeal, the decision of the panelist – which could be an appeals panelist, Final Appeals Officer, or his or her alternates, under Section 14 – will be considered final,” states section 14.6.f of the NASCAR rule book. “There is no ability to appeal the decision to the Final Appeals Office as outlined in Section 15.”
The appeal was heard by National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss.
“Although our team disagrees with the decision, we have exhausted our options for recourse and must move on,” said team owner Al Niece. “Our sights will remain set on the obstacle in front of us – which is making the playoffs.
“I firmly believe that Ross and this Niece Motorsports team are capable of rising to the challenge, no matter what gets in our way.”
Chastain is simply ready to push forward and chase another win this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
“This is actually very simple – Sunday is in the past,” Chastain said. “I’m focused on getting to Gateway and putting this Niece Motorsports truck in victory lane for the third time this year.”