Playoff driver William Byron was handed a major points penalty after the incident with Denny Hamlin
The Hendrick Motorsports’ appeal is set to be heard on Thursday. The appeal will be heard just ahead of the final race in the Round of 12 at the Charlotte Roval.
William Byron and Denny Hamlin fought for space off turn two at Texas Motor Speedway. Just a few laps later, race leader Martin Truex Jr blew a tire, tagged the wall and brought out a caution.
As the yellow lights came on, Byron stayed in the throttle. He drove into the back of Hamlin, under caution. Hamlin went for a spin.
After exiting the grass, Hamlin drove back to the bumper of Byron. He gave him several shots and attempted to spin him out behind the pace car but cooler heads prevailed.
NASCAR said Byron could have been penalized, during the race. However, they failed to find time to fully review the incident before the green flag returned.
A few days after the conclusion of the race, Byron was handed a major penalty:
William Byron: The Penalty
Playoff driver Byron was docked 25 points. He was also fined $50,000. The penalty noted sections 4.3.A & 4.4.C in the rulebook.
4.4.C: “Intentionally wrecking another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result” and “any actions deemed to compromise the safety of an Event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of Competitors, Officials, spectators, or others.”
Additionally, a violation of that rule gives NASCAR the option to suspend the driver. Byron was not suspended.
A violation of Section 4.4.C calls for a penalty of 25-50 points and a fine between $50,000-$100,000. Byron’s penalty hit the lowest end of that scale.
Again, the case will be heard on Thursday, just ahead of Charlotte.
Three members of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel will hear the case from Hendrick Motorsports. The panel operates independent of NASCAR.
A reversal of this penalty could play a role in the playoff grid. After this weekend’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, the playoff drivers will be trimmed from 12 to just 8 competitors.
Even recently, the panel has completely overturned a penalty. They’ve also been known to slightly modify the penalty. However, in most cases the penalty remains unchanged.