Post-race inspection in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race found two issues Saturday night. The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Christopher Bell in the Xfinity Series was disqualified following post-race inspection after measuring too low. Bell, a four-time race winner this season, will be awarded last-place points because of the disqualification.
Additionally, race winner Cole Custer’s No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford was missing one lug nut.
The Bell disqualification is significant considering his second place in the championship standings. With the points penalty, Custer moved into second place ahead of Bell and trails championship leader Tyler Reddick by 71 points. Bell is now in third place, 94 points behind Reddick.
Post-race inspection includes the top-five cars plus a random car. The shocks are unhooked post-race as they are in pre-race inspection.
“Once they said they were set to go on height sticks, we put the car up and it failed both front heights and the right rear,’’ Wayne Auton, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Managing Director told reporters following inspection.
Ironically, Auton noted, the No. 20 JGR team was one of the series’ “biggest assets” in testing and formulating a way to properly measure the cars post-race.
“We tried to come up with a way [to inspect] so we weren’t in the situation we are right now,’’ Auton said.
“We did a lot of testing last year and what we came up with last year is exactly the procedure we have now. We unhook the shocks and inspect the cars post-race the same way we do pre-race.’’
Auton said he spoke with the team’s crew chief Jason Ratliff, who was surprised by the turn of events. NASCAR took photos of the car and further inspected to see if there was damage from the race perhaps contributing to the situation, but determined there was none.
“It looked just like we started the race on it,’’ Auton said. “When we put the sticks on it, the car was low by a lot and the right rear was high a little bit. We use the same procedure on every car in the garage.’’
“Things happen, but we feel 100 percent confident we did our job just as we do with all the other cars.’’