POCONO NASCAR PHOTOBLOG: M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400
On July 24, Denny Hamlin thought he made history with his seventh victory at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, but he soon ended up in the record books for a much different reason.
After he and second place winner Kyle Busch failed their post-race inspections, Chase Elliott was declared the winner of the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400. This makes Hamlin the first driver to be disqualified after winning a NASCAR Cup Series race since 1960; it was later revealed that this was because strips of tape under the cars’ sponsor wraps that deviated too much from approved specifications.
That wasn’t even the only drama on the track on Sunday.
“Hamlin was involved in another high-profile incident on a restart with 18 laps remaining, colliding with season rival Ross Chastain while vying side-by-side for the race lead. And even then, Hamlin’s crew chief Chris Gabehart kept reminding him of a tenuous fuel situation in the closing laps. But Hamlin kept the field at bay on the ensuing restart with 13 laps remaining and crossed first before his car failed post-race tech,” Pocono Raceway stated in a press release written by Holly Cain of the NASCAR Wire Service.
“The two drivers have been involved in several high-profile run-ins during races this season.”
“What did you want me to do? What did you expect me to do?” Hamlin said. “I got position on him, and he just ran out of race track.”
“That’s something that’s been coming to me for a few months now,” Chastain responded. “I’ve been owed that and probably some more for a few months now.”