NEWTON, Iowa – NASCAR claimed victory on Sunday for the first time since 1960 when Brett Moffitt was named the winner of the Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway after Ross Chastain's # 44 truck failed a retest.
Chastain led the last 141 laps of the 200-lap race. But the series executive, Brad Moran, said the truck was too low when measured with NASCAR altimeters. Chastain's team has ET time Monday to noon to appeal the decision.
"The alt bars are painted yellows and reds, and they were in agreement with everyone, so unfortunately they were extremely low," Moran said. 19659002] Disqualification was the first of the stringent new rules introduced at the beginning of this season to stop the culture of fraud ̵
"I think it's the right thing for the integrity of the sport," said Moffitt, who never drove a lap in the race. "Obviously, I came out of the good end, if I'm in Ross's shoes, I would not be too happy about it."
The last time NASCAR disqualified an obvious race winner was April 17, 1960, when Emanuel Zervakis' win at the Wilson Speedway in North Carolina was dropped because of an oversized fuel tank.
NASCAR announced in February that thorough re-inspections would take place directly after the race on the track held during the week at the Sanction Office Research and Development Center outside Charlotte, North Carolina.
Winning teams that had violated the rules in previous seasons were penalized with fines, point deductions and / or penalties this year.
The decision may prove devastating for Chastain's season.
Chastain recently moved from the Xfinity Series to Trucks e in last year's championship, which he applied for in 2019. The obvious victory in Iowa meant that Chastain only had to finish 20th or higher in the trucking championship to get a playoff berth – and the nicknamed "The Melon Man" was so thrilled he had one Watermelon in the ground popped Victory Lane.
Instead, Chastain was ranked last and his victory and bonus points were stripped. Chastain also lost the $ 50,000 that he won first in the Triple Truck Challenge, which was part of Iowa.
Chastain, who spoke at a press conference after his apparent victory, could not be located for comment after announcing his disqualification.
As for Moffitt, he said he was drinking beer in his motorhome on his way to the airport near Des Moines and was "damn mad after losing it" when he received the call informing him that Chastain had been disqualified.
Moffitt was recalled to the track for the second press conference of the day.
"I went from I drink my cares away to be happy," Moffitt said.