July 24, 2022
By Holly Cain
NASCAR Wire Service
Chase Elliott has been declared the winner of Sunday’s M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway after first and second place finishers, Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were disqualified following post-race technical inspection.
It’s a series-best fourth race victory for the driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, who now leads the championship standings by 105-points over Ross Chastain and 111-points over Ryan Blaney.
It is the first time this season a race winner has been disqualified.
“Yeah, unfortunately we were doing our post-race inspections, which we do,” said NASCAR Cup Series managing director Brad Moran. “There were some issues discovered that affect aero of the vehicle. 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. It is a penalty, both for the 11 of Denny Hamlin and the 18 of Kyle Busch have been DQed. Their vehicles are being loaded in the NASCAR hauler and they’re going to go back to the R&D Center.”
Hamlin won the pole position, led 21 laps, and ultimately crossed the finish line .927-second ahead of Busch for the apparent win in an action-packed afternoon at the 2.5-mile Pocono track.
But both of the JGR cars failed post-pace inspection leaving the victory to the 26-year-old 2020 series champion Elliott, who now has a series-best four victories – three wins and a pair of second-place finishes in the last five races alone.
The updated finishing order of the race includes a runner-up showing now for Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick. Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez, JGR’s Christopher Bell, and Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson – who won Stage 1 of the race – round out the top five.
Front Row Motorsports driver Michael McDowell was sixth, followed by JGR’s Martin Truex Jr., the Hamlin-owned 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace, Petty GMS Racing’s Erik Jones and RCR’s driver Austin Dillon.
It was a significant day for 19-year-old Ty Gibbs, grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs. Gibbs was tabbed only a couple hours before the race start to fill in for 23XI Racing driver Kurt Busch, who was involved in an accident during qualifying on Saturday and not cleared medically to compete on Sunday.
Gibbs, who finished 16th in the No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota, was all smiles and gratitude after the race, even taking a moment to thank team co-owner, NBA legend Michael Jordan for the opportunity.
“I had a great time and Michael if you’re watching, I want to say, ‘thank you,'” said Gibbs. “I had a great time, and I learned a lot.”
The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action next week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course with Sunday’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, IMS Radio Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). A.J. Allmendinger is the defending race winner.
NASCAR Cup Series Race – 49th Annual M&Ms Fan Appreciation 400
Long Pond, Pennsylvania
Sunday, July 24, 2022
- (3) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 160.
- (16) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 160.
- (9) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 160.
- (11) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 160.
- (4) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 160.
- (25) Michael McDowell, Ford, 160.
- (8) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 160.
- (7) Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 160.
- (34) Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 160.
- (15) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 160.
- (17) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 160.
- (18) William Byron, Chevrolet, 160.
- (12) Aric Almirola, Ford, 160.
- (26) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 160.
- (13) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 160.
- (10) Ty Gibbs(i), Toyota, 160.
- (32) Cole Custer, Ford, 160.
- (19) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 160.
- (23) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 160.
- (14) Joey Logano, Ford, 160.
- (30) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 160.
- (27) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 160.
- (28) Harrison Burton #, Ford, 160.
- (22) Noah Gragson(i), Chevrolet, 160.
- (29) Todd Gilliland #, Ford, 160.
- (36) Cody Ware, Ford, 160.
- (24) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 160.
- (33) JJ Yeley(i), Ford, 159.
- (5) Chris Buescher, Ford, 158.
- (35) BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 158.
- (20) Austin Cindric #, Ford, 154.
- (21) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, Accident, 142.
- (6) Ryan Blaney, Ford, Accident, 135.
- (31) Josh Bilicki(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 35.
- (1) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 160.
- (2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 160.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 122.459 mph.
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 15 Mins, 59 Secs. Margin of Victory: .927 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 9 for 37 laps.
Lead Changes: 15 among 10 drivers.
Lap Leaders: K. Busch 1-12;K. Larson 13-30;H. Burton # 31-34;C. Bell 35-48;K. Busch 49-64;M. Truex Jr. 65-66;R. Blaney 67-73;E. Jones 74-84;B. Wallace 85-87;K. Busch 88-122;R. Chastain 123;D. Hamlin 124-126;B. Wallace 127;R. Chastain 128-142;D. Hamlin 143-160.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Kyle Busch 3 times for 63 laps; Denny Hamlin 2 times for 21 laps; Kyle Larson 1 time for 18 laps; Ross Chastain 2 times for 16 laps; Christopher Bell 1 time for 14 laps; Erik Jones 1 time for 11 laps; Ryan Blaney 1 time for 7 laps; Harrison Burton # 1 time for 4 laps; Bubba Wallace 2 times for 4 laps; Martin Truex Jr. 1 time for 2 laps.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 5,9,99,12,43,24,19,4,7,34
Stage #2 Top Ten: 1,12,43,4,24,99,9,5,20,19