The “Tricky Triangle” at Pocono Raceway almost always delivers an interesting race, but the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 took things to another level. It seems almost fitting that the only triangle-shaped track in NASCAR brought about a three-way controversy for the winner.
It all started when Denny Hamlin crossed the finish line first to take the checkered flag. He only led 21 laps, but led the most important one. Kyle Busch, who led all drivers with 63 laps led, was the second one across, followed by Chase Elliott, who led exactly zero laps.
Unfortunately for Joe Gibbs Racing, Hamlin and Busch both failed their post-race inspections. The disqualifications moved them to 35th and 36th, respectively, in the official race results and made Elliott the winner.
According to NASCAR officials, this is the first time since 1960 that an apparent winner was disqualified for failing an inspection. For trivia buffs who will remember this, that driver was Emanuel Zervakis, whose win at Wilson Speedway was wiped out by an oversized fuel tank.
Both Hamlin and Busch have sent their cars to NASCAR’s research and development center for additional inspection, so the race result could change. What won’t change, however, is how the race was graded from a betting standpoint.
Per DraftKings Sportsbook Director Johnny Avello, the house rules applied in this instance, which state: “All markets will be initially settled based on the unofficial results sent out by NASCAR. If, after post-race inspections are completed, there is any change in the official race result, all previous winners will stand and new winners will also be settled as won. Any subsequent inquiries/disqualifications after the official post-race inspection will not affect settlement.”
"It's about doing what's best for our customers," Avello added. "The rule allows for various payouts."
In other words, DraftKings graded all Hamlin bets, including props, as winners following the race. The change in the result forced a change in any Elliott wagers from losing tickets to winning tickets, including any and all props with him. Furthermore, any Top 5 or Top 10 wagers with drivers that moved up a spot also had to be regraded.
Not all sportsbooks have the same house rules and many do wait for the official results. DraftKings does not, so multiple winners were paid out.