NASCAR Reveals Reason for Joe Gibbs Racing Disqualifications

Kyle Busch

Getty Kyle Busch (left) addressed some lingering concerns about his negotiations.

The sanctioning body has just provided an answer to a lingering question from the trip to Pocono Raceway. NASCAR revealed the reason why officials disqualified both Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on July 25 to provide more details about the disqualifications. He explained that the problem area was the lower fascia, which is the bottom of the nose that attaches to the splitter.”

“It was on the lower fascia, it was extra layers of vinyl that in effect deviated the part from the approved CAD files,” Miller explained. “That’s what it was.” He continued and explained that the officials discovered these layers of vinyl as part of the post-race inspection process. Miller also shut down the idea that no other teams had provided inside information about areas that the officials needed to check.

Miller said that he doesn’t know exactly why there was extra vinyl on the No. 11 and No. 18 entries. Though he acknowledged that it could be due to simply wanting to improve the “aerodynamic footprint” of both Toyota Camry TRDs.

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“It’s speculation on our part, but yes, that would be what we would think,” Miller continued. “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.”

Joe Gibbs Racing Responded After Miller’s Interview

Denny Hamlin

GettyDenny Hamlin races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Following Miller’s appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, both Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Racing responded with separate statements. TRD applauded the “hyper-vigilance” regarding the new cars and policing the rules. JGR provided more details about the illegal vinyl.

“In our review of the post-race on the 11 and 18 cars at Pocono, it was discovered a single piece of clear tape was positioned over each of the lower corners of the front fascia ahead of the left-front and right-front wheel openings on both those cars,” said Wally Brown, JGR’s director of competition. “The added pieces were 2 inches wide and [5.5] inches long with a thickness of 0.012 inches and installed under the wrap.

“This change in our build process was not properly vetted within our organization and we recognize it is against NASCAR’s rules. We apologize to everyone for this mistake, and we have made changes to our processes to ensure that it does not happen again.”

Miller Detailed the Inspection Process

There were several questions about the inspection process after the Pocono weekend. Many fans wanted to know how many cars went through post-race inspection and if the officials decided to inspect the entries driven by Christopher Bell and Martin Truex Jr. 

As Miller explained during his appearance, only the top five cars go through the post-race inspection. They all go through the inspection process, but only the top two get a complete teardown. Miller noted that the officials can’t give the entire field this level of inspection because it would take multiple days.

“Our procedures to take the first and a second-place car and a random car — sometimes a random, sometimes not — and do that post-race teardown on them,” Miller said. “The top five cars all go through an inspection process, back through the OSS, and make sure it’s correct.

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