Wednesday afternoon, JR Motorsports appealed a penalty handed down to Noah Gragson and the No. 9 team after the Darlington race. The organization presented its case to the Final Appeal Officer and received a ruling. The officer decided to overturn the disqualification that relegated Gragson to 40th place.
Following the Darlington race, NASCAR said that the JRM team had violated Rule 20.14.c in the NASCAR Rule Book: “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.”
According to NASCAR, appeal officer Roger Werner heard and considered JRM’s case on Wednesday and ultimately rescinded the penalties. There were no details about what JRM said during the appeal process, but this decision means that Gragson will get back his fourth-place finish from Darlington.
“I told our group to accept it and move on to the next race but CC Dave felt confident in winning an appeal. Glad he didn’t listen to me initially,” team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted after hearing NASCAR’s decision.
Gragson is back in the Dash 4 Cash
Following the initial disqualification, NASCAR took away Gragson’s Dash 4 Cash bonus and awarded it to AJ Allmendinger. The sanctioning body also made Allmendinger the fourth Dash 4 Cash driver heading toward Dover International Speedway. Now, however, he will get back his $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus.
Gragson will also compete once again for the $100,000 bonus, joining Darlington winner Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, and Brandon Jones. He has swept the first three Dash 4 Cash races and will have the opportunity to sweep the season with another strong performance.
The four-driver Dash 4 Cash field will head to Dover International Speedway on Saturday to resume the competition in the Drydene 200. The race will take place at 1:30 p.m. ET and will air on FS1. MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will provide audio coverage for those unable to watch at home.
Gragson will have a better starting position on Saturday after JRM won the appeal. The updated starting order moved him to the second row. He will line up next to Jones just behind Allgaier and Daniel Hemric. The original starting order had him lining up on the 14th row due to a last-place finish via penalty.
The final Dash 4 Cash takes place at a track where Gragson contends for wins
The driver of the No. 9 JRM Chevrolet Camaro has made five starts at Dover International Speedway, four with his current team and one with Joe Gibbs Racing. He has performed well in nearly all of these starts, posting four top-10 finishes and one top-five.
Gragson fought for stage wins and the checkered flag during the 2020 doubleheader, leading 27 laps in the first race and finishing fourth while Allgaier raced to Victory Lane. One day later, Gragson returned to the one-mile concrete oval and led 11 laps en route to a sixth-place finish. Chase Briscoe took the checkered flag in the No. 98 Ford Mustang.
In order to achieve success at Dover and potentially snag his first checkered flag of the season, Gragson will have to avoid mistakes on the track. His crew will also have to perform flawlessly during pit stops. The Nevada native expressed frustration after Saturday’s Darlington race, explaining that “he got beat on pit road” late in the race, costing him a spot at the front of the pack during a restart.
“I need to go back and look if I could have done a better job on my speeds and whatnot, but I think that was the difference-maker the last time we came down pit road,” Gragson told Fox Sports’ Regan Smith after the race. “Just came off pit road third from the leader and that really hurt us. Overall, a good day. We led laps in our Bass Pro Shops Chevy.”
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