This past February, NASCAR raised some eyebrows after announcing that the organization is planning to disqualify vehicles that fail a post-race inspection. The new policy wasn’t enacted until June 16th, when truck racer Ross Chastain’s No. 44 Chevrolet didn’t meet the requirements for ground clearance measurements during a Gander Outdoors Truck Series Race at the Iowa Speedway. Chastain was stripped of his first-place title, and instead, runner up Brett Moffitt was declared the winner.
Just last year, before the enactment of the new postrace inspection policy, Chastain would have likely kept his winning title, though he would not have been able to use the victory to qualify for the playoffs and would have lost ten points, seven playoff points, and the $50,000 racing bonus. Chastain and his team, Niece Motorsports, have appealed NASCAR’s ruling to restore his trophy and title, but the penalty was upheld.
The Impact of Chastain’s Disqualification
While the Gander Outdoors Truck Series Race is considered to be NASCAR’s equivalent of a minor league, the decision to disqualify a racer has still created waves throughout the entire community considering that this is the first time the organization has stripped a driver of their win since the 1990s.
The new policy is controversial, especially when it comes to the height of vehicles. There’s not postrace rule for height in the larger Cup series, but just smaller competitions. According to 2014 Cup champion Kevin Harvick, “It’s an easy way to send a message through a less publicized series with less attention, to not have the critics and [uprising] you would have if and when it happens here.”
The Future of NASCAR Truck Racing
To many, the recent disqualification has proven that NASCAR sees the rules that they’ve set in black and white. They’re willing to strip titles for any infraction of their regulation without mercy. Going forward, truck racers are going to have to pay much more attention to the height and weight of their vehicle among many other aspects. Fans can expect to see NASCAR upholding their decisions, and there’s a significant potential for more racers to see themselves disqualified in the coming months.
After NASCAR’s disqualification of Ross Chastain earlier this month, there have been fears in the truck racing community about the harsh postrace inspection rules set forth by the organization. Drivers have reacted poorly to the policy, with concerns over the equality of regulations across different racing circuits.
NASCAR is upholding their decision, however, bringing into question the future of the truck racing industry.