JRM No. 9 team’s Darlington penalty overturned; Gragson’s Dash 4 Cash prize restored

Chris Graythen | Getty Images
Chris Graythen
Getty Images

The National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer overturned penalties Wednesday issued to the JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet team after Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway.

Roger Werner, the final appeals officer, heard and considered the organization’s appeal, overruling the disqualification that stemmed from the No. 9 car’s failure to pass post-race technical inspection. The decision restores Noah Gragson’s fourth-place result and the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus as the top finisher among a group of four drivers eligible for the prize.

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“Everyone at JR Motorsports strives to bring four fast and competitive race cars to the track each and every week and we are happy to see that the ruling was overturned,” JR Motorsports general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said in a statement.

On Saturday, NASCAR officials had relegated Gragson and the No. 9 entry to last place in the 40-car field for the Steakhouse Elite 200. That decision had briefly handed the Dash 4 Cash bonus to the next-highest eligible finisher — AJ Allmendinger.

NASCAR officials said post-race the JRM No. 9 had violated Rule 20.14.c in the NASCAR Rule Book, which states: “All suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension and/or drivetrain component beyond normal rotation or suspension and/or drivetrain travel.”

With his Darlington finish restored after Wednesday’s hearing, Gragson rejoins the four-driver Dash 4 Cash field for Saturday’s Drydene 200 (1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM) at Dover International Speedway. That bonus will be contested among Gragson, Darlington race winner Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry and Brandon Jones.

Gragson has swept all three Dash 4 Cash prizes this season, topping the field of eligible drivers at Martinsville Speedway (April 11), Talladega Superspeedway (April 24) and Darlington (May 8). Saturday’s 200-miler at Dover is the final event in the four-race D4C program for 2021.