Brett Moffitt was declared the winner of Sunday’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series M&M’s 200 at Iowa Speedway after Ross Chastain’s truck failed post-race inspection.
Chastain swept the opening stages and led 141 laps en route to the checkered flag, but after the celebration in Victory Lane his truck was found to be too low in the front in post-race inspection.
The result handed over the win and the $50,000 Triple Truck Challenge bonus to Moffitt.
“It’s a big change of emotions,” Moffitt said. “Obviously this is not the way I want to win it as a racecar driver. “I still would rather take the checkered and be the first one to it.”
Moffitt did not lead a lap in the race.
“I needed track position, it was really tough to pass,” Moffitt said. “We kept getting stuck on the bottom on restarts and it was tough getting momentum down there.”
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Managing Director Brad Moran met with the media after the decision.
“Basically we have a procedure and rules in place, trucks are restricted on their ride heights, the front and the rear of the vehicles,” Moran said. “Unfortunately the 44 was low on the front — extremely low. We have a process of what happens at that point. They do get an opportunity to roll around. They put fuel in the vehicle. They put air the tires.”
Chastain will now earn last-place points for the race and will lose the bonus points he originally scored in the race prior to the post-race penalty. His Niece Motorsports team will appeal the penalty in an expedited process.
— Niece Motorsports (@NieceMotorsport) June 16, 2019
Chastain later joined the Motor Racing Network in the booth for the Xfinity Series CircuitCity.com 250 as an analyst.
“It’s tough,” Chastain said. “We had this planned for me to come up here already and it was tough to walk up here and cross the frontstretch and walk right by Victory Lane where everything had just happened.
“We were just too low. The truck wouldn’t come up. I’m not sure why, they wouldn’t let us look under the hood or anything.
“We still won that race, we won both stages and led a ton of laps. It’s still a dream come true, but yeah they took it away and it’s kind of ironic now that we are sitting next to NASCAR in the booth.”
Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes will now be credited with winning Stage 1 and 2, respectively.
Rhodes, Harrison Burton, Grant Enfinger and Stewart Friesen rounded out the top five.
Chandler Smith started from the pole and led 55 laps and finished eighth after the team had to fix radio issues under the first caution and a speeding penalty coming into the pits on Lap 124. He tied Kyle Busch and Erik Jones for the best finish by a 16 year old in their debut.
“It was just an up and down day,” Smith said. “Overall it was a good learning day. I think we’ll take it and go to Gateway.”
On Lap 137, Johnny Sauter’s No. 13 Ford went for a spin and hit the outside wall after contact from the No. 16 Toyota of Austin Hill. Sauter quickly retaliated under caution, spinning Hill’s Toyota. NASCAR parked Sauter, ending his day with a 27th-place finish.
“I was racing everyone as clean as I could all day long and I guess he was mad that he couldn’t get by me,” Hill said. “Drove down into Turn 1 and he tried to wreck me then. I don’t like racing like that. If they’re going to try to wreck you like that, I’m going to retaliate. I don’t care if it was more than what he gave me, it’s racing. You want to get into me, I’ll show you that I won’t put up with it.”
Updated: 5:15 p.m. ET