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Joe Gibbs Racing Makes Surprising Disqualification Decision: Fans React

Denny Hamlin close up.

LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE - JULY 18: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 18, 2021 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Joe Gibbs Racing will not appeal disqualifications for Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, who initially finished first and second respectively in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway.

NASCAR announced Monday that Joe Gibbs Racing will not contest the decision, meaning Chase Elliott is the official winner of the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400.

In a statement released by Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports, director of competition Wally Brown admitted to violating NASCAR rules by using "a single piece of clear tape" over the lower corners of the No. 11 and 18 Toyota vehicles. He apologized and vowed that the team has "made changes to our processes to ensure that it does not happen again."

It's a bit surprising to see Joe Gibbs Racing not attempt an appeal of a decision that negated Hamlin's third Cup Series win of the year. It also would have marked Busch's seventh top-five finish of the 2022 season.

As most fans see it, they realized they got caught breaking the rules and didn't bother arguing otherwise.

Hamlin appeared to secure a record-setting seventh victory at Pocono Raceway. Instead, he's the first driver to have a way stripped away following a failed post-race inspection since 1960.

Elliott didn't sound particularly overjoyed about his unconventional triumph. Per Pockrass, he said Hamlin can keep the trophy if he wants it.