Chase Elliott grabs the Pocono after winning DQ with No. 11 and 18 Cars
Chase Elliott was declared the winner at the Pocono Circuit on Sunday after the cars of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch – who initially crossed the start/finish line first and second respectively – were disqualified after a post-race check.
The disqualification also means Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Riddick takes second, while Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez takes third. JGR driver Christopher Bell (4th) and Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson (5th) complete the new top five.
Hamlin was involved in another high-profile crash early in the second half with 18 laps remaining, hitting season contender Ross Chastain as he raced side-by-side for the race lead. Even then, Hamlin’s chief of staff, Chris Gaphart, kept reminding him of the fragile fuel condition at the closing laps. But Hamlin kept the field in limbo in the ensuing restart with 13 laps remaining and a cross first before his car failed in post-race tech.
As for the incident with Chastain, Hamlin did not hesitate to respond. Both drivers have participated in several high-profile races this season.
“What did you want me to do? What did you expect me to do?” Hamlin said. “I got it, and he ran out of the racetrack.”
When asked if it was now over between the two of them and if the feud was now settled, Hamlin smiled and said, “We’ll keep racing hard until we get respect from these guys. And not just that. We’ve been destroyed four times, twice while we’ve been in rendered in the past ten months and I’m at the end of it.”
Chastain, winner of two races in his first season of driving at Trackhouse Racing, walked out of the Infield Care Center and admitted the situation wasn’t entirely unexpected.
“This is something I’ve had for a few months,” Chastain said of his anticipation of punishment. “I am proud of the efforts that Trackhouse is making. Continuing to bring fast cars like this is a testament to GM and Chevrolet. It has been really fast and we are going back to Indy.”
When asked if he thought the score was settled now Chastain just smiled.
“I’ve been in debt to that and maybe more for a few months now.”
Bosch, who started in the front row with Hamlin, led the best 63 races out of 160 laps.
It was a big day for 19-year-old Ty Gibbs, grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs. Gibbs was set just two hours before the race to fill in for 23XI Racing driver Kurt Busch, who had a crash during qualifying on Saturday and Not medically cleared to compete on Sunday.
Gibbs, who finished 16th in race #45 23XI Racing Toyota, was smiling and grateful after the race, even taking a moment to thank team owner, NBA legend Michael Jordan for the opportunity.
“You had a great time and Michael if you were watching, I want to say, thank you,” Gibbs said. “I had a great time, and I learned a lot.”
With five races remaining in the regular season, Elliott still leads the points standings with a 100-point lead over Chastain and 108 points over Ryan Blaney, who was involved in a late racing accident.
The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action next week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Verizon 200 on Sunday at Brickyard (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, IMS Radio Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). AJ Allmendinger is the defending champion for the race winner.
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