1 of 6 | Chase Elliott claimed his fourth win of the season Sunday at Pocono Raceway. File Photo by Mike Gentry/UPI | License Photo
July 25 (UPI) -- Cup Series leader Chase Elliott was awarded his fourth victory of the season, despite crossing the finish line in third place, at the M&M's Fan Appreciation 400 due to disqualifications of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
The sequence occurred Sunday at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota crossed the finish line first, followed by Busch's No. 18 Toyota. The cars then failed post-race inspections.
The penalties can be appealed. Both Toyotas were sent to NASCAR's research and development center for inspection. NASCAR has not disqualified a race winner at the Cup Series level in more than 50 years.
Tyler Reddick, Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson followed Elliott in the Top 5 results, after Hamlin and Busch were moved to the bottom of the standings. Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr., Bubba Wallace, Erik Jones and Austin Dillon also finished inside the Top 10.
Hamlin started first, but Busch led for the first 12 laps. Larson held the lead for lap Nos. 13 through 30 and won the first stage. Ross Chastain went on to claim the second stage.
Hamlin, Wallace and Chastain each held the lead down the stretch. Hamlin sent Chastain into the wall with 18 laps to go and went on to score what appeared to be his third win of the season. His car then failed post-race inspection and the victory was stripped.
Busch led a for a race-high 63 laps. Hamlin led for 21 laps. Larson and Chastain led for 18 and 16 laps, respectively, while Elliott never held the lead.
"There was some issues discovered that affect aero of the vehicle," NASCAR Cup Series managing director Brad Moran told reporters in a post-race news conference. "The part was the front fascia.
"There really was no reason why there was some material that was somewhere it shouldn't have been, and that does basically come down to a DQ."
Moran said the situation will be "sorted out" by next week. Hamlin posted a photo late Sunday on Twitter, which showed his daughter Taylor hold a checkered flag.
"Yeah, good luck getting that back," he wrote.
The NASCAR Cup Series schedule will continue with the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.