FOX NASCAR Insider
Ryan Blaney has retained his sixth-place finish from the NASCAR Cup Series playoff race Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after NASCAR found an issue with its inspection process and rescinded its decision to disqualify his car.
NASCAR announced after the race Sunday that Blaney’s left front shock was not the minimum length and he would be relegated to a 36th-place finish. But about 24 hours later, NASCAR announced the penalty had been rescinded.
The Team Penske driver, one of eight drivers still alive in the playoffs, went from eighth in the standing and 56 points behind the current cutoff to seventh overall and 17 points behind with two races left in the Round of 8, NASCAR’s version of the semifinal round. NASCAR will cut the championship-eligible field from eight to four in two weeks following the race at Martinsville Speedway with those four remaining drivers having a shot at the championship Nov. 5 at Phoenix Raceway.
“After further review of the inspection process throughout this weekend’s events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, NASCAR has rescinded the No. 12 disqualification penalty,” NASCAR said in a statement Monday night. “Monday morning during its race weekend debrief, NASCAR discovered an issue with the damper template used for inspection.
“NASCAR then conducted a detailed investigation and has restored the No. 12’s stage and race finishing positions from Sunday. NASCAR has taken internal steps to remedy this issue moving forward.”
On SiriusXM’s NASCAR channel Monday night, NASCAR Cup Series Director Brad Moran said the damper template was not consistent throughout the weekend. He said they also took the Penske shock apart Monday and determined it was legal.
“It’s certainly a unique and unfortunate situation,” Moran said.
It was unfortunate for NASCAR but obviously fortunate for Blaney, who likely faced a must-win situation at either Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend or Martinsville the following week. Now, he can conceivably advance on points.
“We are pleased with the decision by NASCAR to rescind the post-race disqualification to the No. 12 car following Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,” Team Penske said in a statement. “NASCAR has shown a tremendous amount of integrity throughout the process which has led to this conclusion.”
Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.
Get more from NASCAR Cup Series Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more