NASCAR playoff drivers are surprised at the results of the appeal of William Byron’s penalty
Drama unfolded two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway as the NASCAR Cup Series opened the Round of 12 in the playoffs at the 1.54-mile oval. And the results of that drama only unfolded a few days ago.
In stage three of the race, Denny Hamlin and William Byron were in a battle for 2nd. As they fought for space, Byron ended up in the outside wall.
Just a few laps later, a caution came out. With the yellow lights blinking, Byron stayed in the throttle and drove into the rear bumper of Hamlin. Hamlin was sent spinning through the infield grass.
Initially, Hamlin drove back to the bumper of Byron, under caution. He attempted to spin him out, but he didn’t. Per the rules, Hamlin wasn’t able to maintain caution speed as he slid through the grass thus he wasn’t able to restart in the 2nd position.
William Byron vs Denny Hamlin (Video)
NASCAR said they didn’t have time to review the incident during the caution as they were dealing with the safety of Martin Truex Jr who brought out the caution. However, they hinted soon after the race that a penalty could follow.
Mid-week, NASCAR issued a 25 point penalty to playoff driver William Byron. Additionally, they attached a $50,000 fine to the penalty.
Hendrick Motorsports elected to appeal the penalty. That appeal was heard the following week, after the race at Talladega Superspeedway. The results of the appeal were just finalized on Thursday.
The three person panel elected to completely remove the points penalty. At the same time, they doubled the fine.
An entire race was run between the time of the violation and the results of the appeal. And this is a crucial time in the season where every race matters for playoff drivers.
NASCAR issues $125,000 in fines to Byron, Gibbs after Texas
The decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel:
-That the Appellants violated the Rule(s) set forth in the Penalty Notice.
-That the Panel amends the original penalty assessed by NASCAR to read: $100,000 fine for William Byron and no loss of NASCAR Cup Series Championship Team Owner or Driver points.
William Byron’s penalty modified with appeal of NASCAR ruling
Denny Hamlin reacts to the penalty adjustment
“Yeah, it was fortunate for him, unfortunate for me,” Denny Hamlin reacted to the appeal ruling.
“NASCAR made their decision. And it was just three guys that said it was different. It was interesting that they raised the fine but took the points [penalty] away. Super interesting.”
Denny Hamlin had a talk with NASCAR president after ‘bad leadership’ comment
Chase Briscoe reacts
With the points penalty, Byron was moved below the cutline in the NASCAR playoffs. Chase Briscoe was the benefactor of that as he sat on tied but above the cutline after the latest race at Talladega.
With the penalty adjusted, Briscoe was moved to -12 points below the cutline.
“Yeah, it’s extremely frustrating,” Chase Briscoe told Bob Pockrass.
“I respect the appeal process, I think it’s something that we need. But, I think there’s zero reason we should ever run a race in the playoffs with an appeal. We ran a race before the decision.”
“If there’s an appeal, we need to have a decision before a playoff race. What if that was the cut race?”
“It wouldn’t have bothered me if I’d known he’d got those 25 points before Talladega. It was that I raced Talladega totally different, thinking I was in a totally different points situation than what I’m in now.”
“In the first stage [at Talladega], I totally bailed, where I could have got 4-5 playoff points. I decided to not even race because I thought I was to the good at that point.”
Briscoe added, “We have to do better.”
Kyle Larson wants Texas Motor Speedway demolished; Short track
Updated NASCAR Point Standings
Pos | Driver | Wins (In Round) | Points to Cut
1. Chase Elliott
2. Ryan Blaney
3. Ross Chastain
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Joey Logano
6. Kyle Larson
7. William Byron
8. Daniel Suarez
— Round of 8 Cutline —
9. Chase Briscoe
10. Austin Cindric
11. Christopher Bell
12. Alex Bowman
Texas Race Results: September 25, 2022 (NASCAR Cup Seres)
Denny Hamlin | William Byron | Texas Motor Speedway | NASCAR