NASCAR fined Denny Hamlin $50,000 and docked him 25 points after an incident with Ross Chastain at Phoenix Raceway
In the final laps of Phoenix Raceway, Denny Hamlin opened the wheel and ran Ross Chastain into the outside wall. As they went down the backstretch, Chastain through several brake checks but Hamlin didn’t lift.
When they entered turn three, Hamlin drove into the bumper of Chastain once more. This time, he took the position away.
However, both drivers dropped from inside the top-10 to outside the top-20.
Hamlin admits it was on purpose
On Monday, Denny Hamlin used his ‘Actions Detrimental’ podcast to explain his side of the incident:
“When he knows it’s coming, he is the hardest guy to wreck on the planet,” Hamlin said on his Actions Detrimental podcast.
“I see people say, this is for last year, this or that. I got wrecked at The Clash. 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 would wonder about what I thought about at The Clash.”
“I’ve said for awhile, ‘You gotta do something to get these guys attention.’ Ross doesn’t like it when I speak his name in the media or when I have this microphone.”
“But, if I’m going to give this guy a hard time. It’s going to be then. My ideal situation was I was going to knock him in the fence and I was going to keep going.”
Denny Hamlin admits retaliation on Ross Chastain at Phoenix (Video)
NASCAR issues fine to Denny Hamlin
Shortly after the podcast, NASCAR announced they were reviewing the incident. However, they noted that they would have viewed it as a “racing incident”, with the exception of the podcast content, which opened up the investigation.
On Wednesday, Hamlin was penalized.
The penalty report noted section 4.4, NASCAR Member Code of Conduct. Ironically, they also added, “Actions NASCAR finds to be detrimental to stock racing or NASCAR.”
Hamlin was fined $50,000. He was also docked 25 driver points.
NASCAR issues $550,000 in fines after Phoenix Raceway
Update: Denny Hamlin set to appeal
“I won’t be making an appeal to NASCAR. However I will be making an appeal to the people. I’ll see you next Monday,” Denny Hamlin stated via twitter on Wednesday.
However, since that posting, Hamlin has had a change of opinion:
“After much consideration I’ve decided that I will appeal the decision by NASCAR to penalize me. 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 stated on Friday.
Hendrick Motorsports was handed the single largest team fine at $400,000 after Phoenix. Kaulig Racing was also fined $100,000. Both teams are also appealing their penalties.
Largest NASCAR fine in history: Hendrick Motorsports to appeal
Denny Hamlin vs Ross Chastain: Phoenix Raceway (Video)