Trucks victory overturned

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NEWTON, Iowa — NASCAR overturned a victory for the first time under its toughened new policy on cheating when Brett Moffitt was declared the winner of the Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway after Ross Chastain failed a post-race inspection.

Chastain led the final 141 laps of Sunday’s 200-lap race, but series managing director Brad Moran said the winning No. 44 was too low when it was measured with NASCAR’s height sticks.

“The height sticks have warning yellows in them and reds, and it was right off of all of them, so unfortunately it was extremely low,” Moran said.

The disqualification was the first under strict new rules put into place at the start of this season to deter the culture of cheating — and it delivered a much-needed win for Moffitt, a native Iowan racing at his hometown track.

“I think, for the integrity of the sport, it’s the right thing to do,” said Moffitt, who never led a lap in the race.

“Obviously I came out on the good end of it. If I was in Ross’s shoes, I wouldn’t be too thrilled about it.”

Niece Motorsports tweeted after the race that it will appeal the decision. Team owner Al Niece said in a statement that the truck passed opening and pre-race inspections.

“We believe that the No. 44 truck sustained minor damage, which left the truck too low following the race,” Niece said.

NASCAR said the last time it disqualified an apparent race winner was April 17, 1960, when Emanuel Zervakis’ victory at Wilson Speedway in North Carolina was thrown out because of an oversized fuel tank. But the last driver to be stripped of a victory was Mike Skinner in a 1999 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Skinner led the final 41 laps but NASCAR said the next morning his car had an unapproved cylinder head. The win was handed to Dave Blaney and Skinner was dropped to 43rd and last in the field.

Skinner and his team filed an appeal, which was overturned two days later. Skinner was once again awarded the victory, but did not receive the usual first-place earnings.

Elsewhere:

n Christopher Bell won the NASCAR Xfinity series race Sunday at the Iowa Speedway, his fourth victory of the season and second straight in Newton.

n Fernando Alonso won the 24 Hours Le Mans endurance race for the second straight year after the Toyota Gazoo team’s other car came unstuck on Sunday. It was the two-time Formula One champion’s last race in the World Endurance Championship, and also sealed the WEC title. Alonso and his co-drivers Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, who took the checkered flag, had luck on their side in securing the title.

n Bob Tasca III raced to his first Funny Car victory in nearly seven years, beating 70-year-old John Force on Sunday in the final round of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

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