Both drivers were penalized after the finish of the NASCAR Playoff event at Talladega Superspeedway
On Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series unloaded in Talladega, Alabama. Talladega Superspeedway hosted the second of three races in the Round of 12 of the Playoffs.
Twice during the race, Joey Logano was penalized for forcing drivers before the yellow line. That set the tone for the day.
NASCAR went into triple over time following multiple crashes in the closing laps. For the first time, they grabbed the white flag on the 3rd attempt.
Heading off turn two for the final time, Matt DiBenedetto led with a huge push from Erik Jones. But, both of those cars were way out front with huge runs coming behind.
As they got to turn three, Chris Buescher had a run with a huge push from William Byron. Jones went to block and he got turned into the outside wall.
Byron turned left to avoid it. DiBenedetto came down to block and he forced Byron below the yellow line in turn four.
At the same time, Jones and Buescher were banging doors and coming down the banking after making contact with the wall. In the process, they forced Hamlin below the yellow line.
DiBenedetto and Byron banged doors off turn four as Byron forced his way through. Hamlin was right there with them.
DiBenedetto, Byron and Hamlin drag raced to the finish line. Hamlin was first to the finish line, beating DiBenedetto by 0.0023 seconds.
The rule is that drivers can’t pass below the yellow line. Additionally, you can’t force another driver below the line.
Yellow line penalties after the finish at Talladega Superspeedway
Directly after cars crossed the finish line, the race went into review by NASCAR officials. Meanwhile, Hamlin celebrated.
Officially, NASCAR declared Hamlin the winner. He wasn’t penalized as he was forced below the yellow line.
“Well, they were crashing in front of us. So, I got forced down there, just like the others. There was a bunch of us that all crashed down there,” Hamlin said after the win.
However, Matt DiBenedetto and Chase Elliott were both penalized for forcing cars below the yellow line. DiBenedetto finished 2nd while Elliott finished in 6th.
In the official results, DiBenedetto is credited with 21st while Elliott is credited with 21st.
The NASCAR playoffs continue next week at the Charlotte Roval. It will conclude the round of 12, eliminating 4 more drivers for playoff contention.