NASCAR is a sport where there are very few gray areas. The rules are the rules: you break them and you have to face the consequences for your actions. When the little team that could, Nicee Motorsports, won on Sunday in the M&M's 200, the racing world was able to rejoice until it was released that evening that Chastain's truck failed post-race inspection.
Should NASCAR and other racing series take away a win from a driver and a team, even after the race is over and someone already has a trophy?
Before the 2019 NASCAR season, it was announced that if a team failed post-race inspection, no matter if they are the winner or if they finished 24th, then that team will be disqualified from the race as if they had never been there. This came after fans had complained that NASCAR wasn't harsh enough with the penalties that were handed down if the winning race car failed inspection. Once the news broke that this was the law of the land, many teams were scared to push the limits on how to make a car go fast.
People within the industry were wondering who would be the first team to catch this penalty. Many thought it was going to be Kevin Harvick of the #4 race team, who failed post-race inspection twice after winning in 2018. No one would have thought it was going to be the good ole' watermelon farmer from Florida, Ross Chastain. But, it was, and he was the first driver to be disqualified from a race since 1999. But, rules are rules. This is the "box" that race teams are put into when they go to the race track every week. Chastain and his team appealed the decision, but it was announced on Wednesday that the ruling from NASCAR was going to stand.
While it is very rare to see any team, racing or not, have their win(s) taken away from them, this is the second time this month in the world of Motorsports that a team has had their win taken away because of a rule violation. In the F1 Canadian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel went off the track and blocked Lewis Hamilton for the lead late, leading to a time penalty which gave the win to Hamilton and his team. Vettel, upset, voiced his displeasure with the ruling and even took the #2 sign from his car and put in front of Hamilton's.
Will we see another win be taken away from a driver in NASCAR, as NASCAR heads towards the playoffs? We could see a team push the limit in order to gain an advantage and win the race, locking a spot in the playoffs. It would sure be a media storm if a driver outside of the playoffs were to win the last race at Indianapolis, lock themselves in, then lose that win after failing inspection. It would be something that we have seen happen in NASCAR. We will just have to watch and see what happens the rest of the 2019 NASCAR season.