Blaney’s Dramatic Reinstatement Alters Playoff Landscape After Disqualification U-Turn

UNITED STATES: In a stunning turn of events, Ryan Blaney’s fortunes in the NASCAR playoffs took a complete 180-degree shift after being initially disqualified in a race narrowly won by Kyle Larson at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Blaney, driving for Team Penske, finished sixth and managed to secure eight valuable stage points before his #12 Ford Mustang failed post-race inspection.

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The disqualification hinged on a violation of NASCAR Rule Book Section, which pertains to the minimum extended damper lengths for each shock.

This setback pushed Blaney 56 points below the playoff cut-line, seemingly jeopardizing his championship hopes. However, a later revelation saw his original finish reinstated, narrowing the gap to just 17 points.

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With this twist of fate, Blaney has surged ahead of fellow Ford driver Chris Buescher, now securing the seventh spot among the eight remaining title contenders. The victory at Talladega had initially thrust him into a must-win scenario in the final two Round of 8 races at Homestead and Martinsville to secure a spot in the Championship 4 race at Phoenix.

NASCAR responded promptly, stating, “After further review of the inspection process… NASCAR has rescinded the No. 12 disqualification penalty.” The discovery of an issue with the damper template used for inspection prompted a detailed investigation. NASCAR has taken internal measures to prevent such issues moving forward.

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Kyle Larson’s triumph at Las Vegas ensured his berth in the Championship 4, leaving seven drivers vying for the remaining three spots. William Byron holds a nine-point advantage over Christopher Bell, while Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin sit provisionally ahead, but only two points clear of Bell.

Team Penske expressed their satisfaction with the decision. The roller-coaster journey of the #12 car adds an extra layer of drama to an already intense playoff race.

Also Read: NASCAR Cup: Stewart-Haas Racing Team and Driver Cole Custer Penalised

Originally posted 2023-10-18 04:35:00.