Noah Gragson will not officially be listed as the last-place finisher of Saturday's Xfinity Series race at Darlington.
Gragson finished fourth in the race, and his team was set to receive a $100,000 bonus as part of the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash promotion. But Gragson's car failed post-race inspection. The inspection failure meant that Gragson was relegated to last place and he wouldn't get the bonus.
NASCAR said that Gragson's car failed post-race inspection because of an unspecificied problem with its suspension. Per NASCAR, the car had violated a rule that 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.”
JR Motorsports — the team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. — appealed the penalty. And on Wednesday, NASCAR appeals officer Roger Werner overturned the penalty.
“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,” Kelley Earnhardt said in a JR Motorsports statement.
The successful appeal means that Gragson retains his fourth-place finish and also gets to keep the six-figure bonus. The Dash 4 Cash program is a series of races during the spring that features a group of four drivers racing for a $100,000 bonus. Gragson has gotten the bonus in all three Dash 4 Cash races so far and is eligible for the bonus again at Dover because the appeal was successful. Had the disqualification been upheld, Gragson would have both lost the bonus from Darlington and been ineligible to win it at Dover.
Gragson is seventh in the standings after the appeal. He has five top-10 finishes in nine races and is 120 points off the points lead.
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