Following the disqualification of the top-two finishers in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway, Scott Miller made an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway on Monday to talk about the DQ of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
While the findings in post-race inspection were severe enough to warrant a disqualification, Miller says it isn’t fair to put this infraction up against past major infractions.
“I want everybody to kind of know this is a new world of inspection,” Miller explained. “This is not akin to a big engine, or soaked tires, or anything like this. This is more about the integrity of what was agreed on between NASCAR and the teams and protecting the integrity of the Next Gen inspection process.”
So, what was the, “Material,” that NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director Brad Moran stated the sanctioning body found on the fascia of the two Joe Gibbs Racing cars?
“It was on the lower fascia, it was extra layers of vinyl that in effect deviated the part from the approved CAD files,” Miller stated. “That’s what it was.”
While there is no way to know for sure, Miller says the vinyl was likely added as an aerodynamic advantage for the Joe Gibbs Racing cars that finished 1-2 on Sunday.
“It’s speculation on our part, but yes, that would be what we would think,” Miller said. “We do aerodynamic testing alone, but we don’t do development aerodynamic testing, which is what it would take to find those sensitive areas of the nose and try to get everything you can out of it.”
For those wondering if another team asked NASCAR to check into the manipulation of the front fascia, Miller says absolutely not.
“It’s standard procedure for post-race inspection to peel vinyl off parts of the car that we feel are critical,” Miller explained. “No, we had no inclination prior that there was anything there and we’re very surprised at what we found.”
The disqualification of Hamlin and Busch meant that Chase Elliott was the new winner of the race. Miller explained that Elliott endured a simpler form of post-race inspection than the full tear down that is done for the top-two cars each weekend.
Once the two JGR cars were deemed to have failed tech, the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports car had already been loaded up on the team hauler and Miller isn’t sure if the hauler was even still at the track by the time the sanctioning body deemed the cars of Hamlin and Busch illegal.
The two Joe Gibbs Racing cars in addition to the No. 34 car of Michael McDowell and No. 47 car of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center and are undergoing further evaluation. It’ll be interesting to see what, if any, addition manipulations are found on the cars.