NASCAR reversed course on Monday and overturned the ruling that disqualified Ryan Blaney a day earlier due to an inspection after he initially came in sixth place in the Cup Series’ South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The revised decision is crucial to Blaney’s chances of advancing out of the playoffs’ Round of 8. With his 39 points from Las Vegas restored, Blaney sits in seventh place, but just 17 points off the top four that will race for the championship on Nov. 5 at Phoenix Raceway. Two races remain before the list of contenders will be cut from eight to four.
NASCAR officials originally ruled that the left front shock on Blaney’s Team Penske No. 12 Ford wasn’t the specified length. The penalty dropped him to last place for the race.
However, NASCAR issued a statement on Monday that read, “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.”
Cup Series managing director Brad Moran said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, “There was a lot of digging in here to come up with what we did, but when we were all done, NASCAR had ownership in it. It was not a team problem, and we’ll own up to that, and that’s why the penalty’s getting rescinded.”
Team Penske responded in a statement, “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. NASCAR has shown a tremendous amount of integrity throughout the process which has led to this conclusion.
“We are proud of the effort and the results by the No. 12 team during the 2023 season. We look forward to continuing the pursuit of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship.”
The Cup Series continues Sunday with the 4EVER 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
–Field Level Media