After finishing Sunday’s Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway in 13th place, Chase Elliott was disqualified when NASCAR found five loose lugnuts in his left rear-wheel during the post-race inspection.
“It’s unfortunate,” Chad Knaus, Vice President of competition of Hendrick Motorsports said after the race. “The lug nuts on the No. 9 were loose at the end of the race. At the end of the race, Chase had a vibration. There were quite a few tire issues through the course of the day so they were hopeful that it was just a cord or something in the tire that was creating the vibration so they chose to run the race out.”
Elliott took to Twitter after the race to discuss his complaints with the NASCAR rule.
If it had come off and we crash, we would then get to keep our stage points? Honest question https://t.co/XP11khBiv4— Chase Elliott (@chaseelliott) June 21, 2021
Had the disqualification not occurred, Elliott would have gained 38 points and one playoff point from Sunday’s race after winning stage one and finishing stage two in seventh place. Due to the NASCAR ruling, he gained no points.
This drops Elliott from third to fourth in the Cup Series standings. His teammate, Kyle Larson, won the Ally 400 for his fourth straight win, including last week’s all-star race. Elliott sits behind Larson, another Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron and Denny Hamlin in the standings.
There are only nine races left until the 2021 NASCAR Playoffs begin. Elliott, the reigning Cup Series champion, seems to be a lock to qualify for the playoffs. Eleven separate drivers have won one race this season. If that number stays at or below 16 winners at the end of the regular season, every race winner automatically makes the playoffs.
The Cup Series continues on Saturday with two back-to-back weekend races at Pocono Raceway. Elliott has yet to win at Pocono in his Cup Series career. His career high is fourth place, reaching that feat three times.
Saturday’s race will be 130 laps, or 325 miles and start at 3 p.m. Sunday’s race will be 140 laps, or 350 miles and will start at 3:30 p.m.