NASCAR Cup Series: How Sportsbooks Responded To Denny Hamlin DQ?

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on July 25, 2022
NASCAR Cup Series

At least initially, the NASCAR Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway this weekend appeared to go off without a hitch. Denny Hamlin crossed the finish line first and posed with the trophy, his third of the season. Kyle Busch, Hamlin’s teammate, and Chase Elliott made up the rest of the podium.

Hours later, both Hamlin and Busch found themselves disqualified after failing a post-race inspection of their vehicles. That left Elliott as the official winner. That result will stand after Joe Gibbs Racing declined an opportunity to file an appeal.

“There was some issues discovered that affect aero of the vehicle. The part was the front fascia,” said NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director Brad Moran. “And there really was no reason why there was some material that was somewhere that it shouldn’t have been, and that does basically come down to a DQ.”

That, in turn, left sportsbooks in a bit of a thorny spot. Let’s take a look at how legal sportsbooks handled the disqualification mess at the NASCAR Cup Series event.

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Rare NASCAR DQ Leave No Consensus Among Sportsbooks

As it turns out, no consensus exists among sportsbooks about how to handle such a situation. They don’t come up often. The last post-race DQ that changed the official winner of a Cup Series race happened way back in 1960. Other DQs have occurred, but only later in the week during inspections, far too late to change betting results.

In responding to these Pocono DQs, DraftKings Sportsbook appears to have taken the most customer-friendly approach. DK house rules call for bets settled based on the initial result. However, if the official result later changes the winner, bets on that racer would be honored as well. Therefore, DraftKings Sportsbook has reportedly paid outrights on both Hamlin and Elliott.

FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook honor bets based on podium presentation. From BetMGM’s official rules:

“Any changes to the finishing order that occur based on appeals, penalties or scoring malfunctions after the race has concluded will not be recognized.”

Caesars Sportsbook, meanwhile, told ESPN they settled bets based on official finish. So, Hamlin bettors did not get paid out, while Elliott bettors cashed.

As always, the lesson here: consult the official rules from your sportsbook in the aftermath of unusual situations like the NASCAR Cup Series disqualifications. Raise any concerns with customer service if you think the house graded your bets improperly.

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Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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