Saturday’s Xfinity Series race came to an end with JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson finishing fourth at Darlington and winning his third Dash 4 Cash. Following the race, NASCAR announced the disqualification of Gragson’s No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro due to a failed inspection. JRM is now appealing the decision.
According to Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports, the disqualification appeal will take place as part of an expedited timeline. JRM will present its case this week during a hearing with only one member of the three-person appeals panel or the final appeals officer. The official will then make a final decision about the disqualification after the hearing.
This appeal will not be free for JRM. The racing team will have to pay $2,500 to state the case to the appeals panel and potentially get the points back. Gragson had turned in another strong performance on Saturday, finishing second in the first two stages and then fourth overall.
A suspension issue led to the disqualification
When NASCAR announced Gragson’s decision, the news came via a press release. The brief statement said that the No. 9 Chevrolet was in violation of Rule 20.14.c: “All suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension and/or drivetrain component beyond normal rotation or suspension and/or drivetrain travel.”
NASCAR Xfinity Series general manager Wayne Auton provided some more context after Saturday’s race in a meeting with media members that lasted roughly two minutes. “So, post-race, we tear down the winner and second-place car every weekend,” Auton said. “Because this was a Dash 4 Cash race, we also tear the winner of the Dash 4 Cash down. This is the third race of the 2021 Dash 4 Cash season, and the [No.] 9 car was in violation of 20.14.c.
“In the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series rulebook, under L1, L2,” Auton continued. “‘All L1 and L2 penalties found in race and during post-race inspection shall result in a race disqualification’. And under L1 – parts and systems configurations, ‘examples of rear suspension parts mounted and assembled in a manner to allow movement that should not otherwise be available.’ That’s what we DQ’d the [No.] 9 car for.”
Gragson remains in the mix for the playoffs
The JRM driver has performed well during the 2021 season despite failing to reach Victory Lane so far and facing a disqualification. Gragson has two stage wins, three top-fives, and 94 laps led. He currently sits in 11th place on the points standings after nine total races.
If he does not get the points back after the appeal, Gragson will still remain in the playoff hunt. The current Xfinity Series format puts 12 drivers into the chase at the end of the regular season, and Gragson is above this cutoff line. Though he will have to continue making some moves in order to return to the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
His next opportunity to take the checkered flag will be Saturday. The Xfinity Series will head to Dover International Speedway for the Drydene 200. The race will take place at 1:30 p.m. ET and will air on FS1. Adam Alexander will headline the coverage with two Cup Series drivers joining him in the booth.