NASCAR rescinds Blaney Vegas disqualification

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 15: Ryan Blaney (#12 Team Penske Menards/Tarkett Ford)

NASCAR officials rescinded the disqualification of Ryan Blaney’s Team Penske No. 12 Ford on Monday after further inspection of his car from Sunday’s Cup Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The decision restores Blaney’s sixth-place finish in Sunday’s race at Las Vegas and moves him up in the Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8, which continues Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Blaney and the team were initially disqualified after post-race technical inspection at the 1.5-mile Nevada track, where competition officials ruled that the left-front shock on the No. 12 did not meet the overall specified length outlined in Section of the NASCAR Rule Book. Blaney was demoted to last place in the 36-car field.

After a further review of the inspection process at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, competition officials discovered an issue with the damper template used for inspections in the Las Vegas garage. A statement from the sanctioning body said that “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.”

Later Monday Team Penske released 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.”

Blaney was once again credited with sixth-place points.

Sunday after the race and before the DQ, Blaney seemed satisfied with his finish.

“We ran pretty good today, but it is what it is,” Blaney said. “We just have to keep running good and having good days and just keep running up front. Hopefully, you find yourself up front and can contend for a win.”

Blaney also got back the eight points he had earned at the two stage breaks. The reversal moves Blaney from last place among the eight remaining title-eligible drivers to seventh, trimming his deficit relative to the provisional elimination line from 56 to 17 points.

“I wish we would have got more stage points. The second stage was funky there of guys doing two, on scuffs, and just didn’t really get a good restart and didn’t get a ton of stage points. I wish I got more. It sucks being even further out of the cutoff after I put together a decent day, but we just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”

Blaney is making his third consecutive appearance in the Round of 8, marking the fifth time in his Cup Series career that he has made such a deep playoff run. The 29-year-old driver is seeking his first appearance in the Championship 4 field, which will vie for the Cup Series title in the Nov. 5 season finale at Phoenix Raceway.

Blaney will now have a better shot in the Playoffs but will need strong runs at Homestead and Martinsville.

“I hope so,” Blaney said Sunday. “Those are two decent tracks for us, so we just have go forward and have a good day.”

Greg Engle