Denny Hamlin to appeal NASCAR penalty
HAMPTON, Ga. -- Two days after saying he would not appeal his penalties, Denny Hamlin announced Friday on social media that he would do so.
NASCAR fined Denny Hamlin $50,000 and 25 points Wednesday for admitting on his podcast this week that he intentionally wrecked Ross Chastain on the last lap of the race at Phoenix Raceway.
NASCAR cited Hamlin with violating section 4.4.B of the Cup Rule Book. Among the violations listed are:
- Attempting to manipulate the outcome of the Race or championship.
- Wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result.
Any violations of section 4.4.B could result in a loss of 25-50 driver and/or team owner points and/or $50,000-$100,000 fine. Violations may also result in race suspension(s), indefinite suspension or membership revocation.
NASCAR also cited Hamlin with violating section 4.4.D, which includes:
- Actions by a NASCAR Member that NASCAR finds to be detrimental to stock car racing or NASCAR.
Any violations of section 4.4.D could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension or membership revocation.
Hamlin said Friday on social media that what happened on the last lap with Chastain “was common hard racing that happens each and every weekend. There was also no manipulation of the race nor actions detrimental to the sport.”
After much consideration I’ve decided that I will appeal the decision by NASCAR to penalize me.— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) March 17, 2023
What happened on Sunday was common hard racing that happens each and every weekend. There was also no manipulation of the race nor actions detrimental to the sport.
Hamlin spoke at length on his podcast about his incident with Chastain at Phoenix, saying:
“It wasn’t a mistake. No, it wasn’t a mistake. I let the wheel go, and I said he’s coming with me. It’s been interesting because I hear people say this is for last year or this year. I got wrecked at the Clash. I don’t know that Ross sees it that way. I think he’s still curious about what I thought about the Clash. I don’t know why he wonders what I thought about the Clash.”
Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said that Hamlin’s comments on the podcast led to the penalty.
“When you look (the incident between Hamlin and Chastain) this past weekend, we would have viewed that as a racing incident, but then 24 hours later to have a competitor that has gone on a podcast … (and) you start admitting that you have intentionally done something that would compromise the results of the end of the race, then that rises to the level that we’re going to get involved.”
Last year, William Byron spun Hamlin under caution in the Texas playoff race. Byron admitted after the race to making contact but said it was not his intent to spin Hamlin. NASCAR fined Byron $50,000 and 25 points. Byron appealed. The National Motorsports Appeals Panel amended Byron’s penalty to no points lost while increasing the fine to $100,000.