By Jerry Jordan, Editor
A used part has resulted in Tony Stewart being disqualified from the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at the Charlotte Motor Speedway dragstrip.
According to a statement released by the NHRA, officials found parts that were unapproved after his run on Saturday. The discovery resulted in Stewart, who went into the race weekend with a 64-point lead for the championship, being disqualified and ineligible to earn any points.
“During a post run inspection at the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals, the McPhillips Racing Top
Alcohol Dragster driven by Tony Stewart, was found to have unapproved ignition parts. Due to
the items found, he has been disqualified from the event and zero points will be awarded, per
the NHRA rulebook,” the statement read.
The McPhillips Racing team was quick to point out that Stewart had no idea the parts didn’t meet specifications and explained how the unfortunate event happened.
“McPhillips Racing prides itself in being honorable in all of our racing competition. Prior to Tony (Stewart’s) Round 1 of eliminations at the Carolina Nationals, NHRA confiscated the magnetos on Tony’s Top Alcohol dragster,” the McPhillips statement read. “It was brought to our attention that the magnetos, which we had purchased used from another team, were found to not be within NHRA’s tolerance. The part had been unknowingly modified prior to us purchasing it. The part is not required to be certified in our Top Alcohol category. We regret that Tony was unable to compete in the Carolina Nationals due to this violation. The team is solely owed (sic) by McPhillips and Tony has no say in the purchase of parts. McPhillips Racing accepts full responsibility and going forward, we will be more vigilant in inspecting and testing used parts that we purchase.”
A driver can earn 100 points for winning the weekend in an NHRA race, while a driver knocked out as a first-round loser only gets 20 points. The points formula also allows for performance bonus points and all drivers making a qualifying attempt are guaranteed 10 points. In Stewart’s case, it will be like he never showed up at the track as he will receive zero points, according to the NHRA.
Prior to the disqualification, Stewart posted on X, formerly Twitter, that he had made two solid qualifying runs.