The race-winning Team Penske No. 2 Ford of Brad Keselowski has passed post-race inspection at Atlanta Motor Speedway with no issues.
The No. 2 Ford was found to be compliant with the 2019 NASCAR Rule Book after Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. With the post-race teardown complete, the race results are official.
RELATED: Race results
Two cars were found with one lug nut not safely secured after a post-race check: the Leavine Family Racing No. 95 Toyota of 26th-place Matt DiBenedetto and the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Chevrolet of 27th-place finisher Bubba Wallace. Both teams’ crew chiefs were fined $10,000 Monday. Because of a miscommunication, officials initially announced that the Germain Racing No. 13 team would be penalized, not the No. 43.
Competition officials also indicated that the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford of fourth-place finisher Kevin Harvick would go to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina for further review.
The post-race process is part of a new, more timely approach to inspection for all three NASCAR national series. Competition officials announced in February that thorough post-race inspections would take place shortly after the checkered flag at the track instead of midweek at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina.
Those inspections come with a stiffer deterrence structure that includes disqualification for significant rules infractions — “a total culture change,” according to Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. In the past, race-winning teams found in violation of the rules were penalized with post-race fines, points deductions and/or suspensions, but victories were allowed to stand.
Competition officials introduced the quicker post-race inspection timetable in an effort to make the results official on race day, aiming for a 90-minute target time frame to complete their scrutiny. The new post-race inspection process also was designed to deal with potential violations more promptly, avoiding any midweek news that might cloud the previous week’s results or the build-up to the following week’s event.
NASCAR will still inspect cars and parts at the R&D Center as needed, but the more comprehensive at-track inspection will take priority.
According to NASCAR statistical archives, the last time a premier series driver was disqualified occurred in 1973, when early retiree Buddy Baker was demoted to last place in the National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The last time an apparent race winner in NASCAR’s top division was disqualified came on April 17, 1960, when Emanuel Zervakis’ victory at Wilson (N.C.) Speedway was thrown out because of an oversized fuel tank on his No. 85 Chevrolet.