Denny Hamlin appeared to win the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday after he put Ross Chastain into the wall with only 18 laps to go.
Hamlin had been promising payback to Chastain after the driver of the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet wrecked Hamlin back in June at the Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Chastain drove into the rear of Hamlin’s car and sent him into the wall. It crippled Hamlin’s car for the rest of the race.
RELATED: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Weighs In On Ross Chastain’s Antics At World Wide Technology Raceway, Says His Apology Was “Bulls**t”
Following this incident, Hamlin promised revenge telling Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, “You’ve just got to fence these guys hard just to kind of get their attention. It’s going to have to be meaningful, on a meaningful day.”
Denny Hamlin said when he pays back Ross Chastain, it will be meaningful and when he least expects it, that you have to “fence these guys hard” to get their attention.
More of what Hamlin said about Chastain after Gateway: pic.twitter.com/B0SCkCct6r
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 5, 2022
Chastain would spin out Hamlin again during the Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this month.
Chastain drifted up the track and ran straight into Hamlin’s left rear quarter panel. The contact sent Hamlin spinning across the track collecting Brad Keselowski in the process.
RELATED: Ross Chastain Makes Another Enemy, Denny Hamlin Quietly Promises Revenge After Chastain Wrecks Him Again
Hamlin would once again promise revenge against Chastain following this incident telling the media, ““It’s just all in whatever level I’m willing to take. It’s just another unfortunate circumstance for him.”
Commenting on Chastain’s chances of winning a championship, Hamlin said, “I don’t know. I think it’s just everyone has their different tolerance levels, certainly. But you guys know I’ve reached my peak.”
He would then be asked what he planned to do about it. He answered, “It all works itself out in the end.”
Hamlin certainly lived up to his promises as he fenced Chastain in the final laps at Pocono. Following a restart, Chastain would take the top line while Hamlin would start underneath him.
Chastain would drive way high through turn 1 and Hamlin would chase him up there, using his door to send Chastain into the wall. After hitting the wall, Chastain would come racing down across the track collecting Kevin Harvick who nailed Chastain’s left rear quarter panel.
Chastain would then drift to the bottom of the track where he hit the inside wall.
After exiting the infield care center, Chastain reacted honestly telling NBC’s Parker Kligerman, “I think that’s something that’s been owed to me for a few months now. I’m proud of the effort by Trackhouse and everybody on this Worldwide Express car. It’s week in and week out we keep bringing fast Chevy Camaros and everybody, Advent Health, The Moose, and Jockey to keep bringing bullets like that and keep bringing fast cars. It’s a testament to GM and everybody at Chevrolet. Yeah, it’s another fast one and we’ll be back at Indy.”
When asked if it was retaliation from Hamlin, Chastain said, “I’ve been owed that and probably some more for a few months now. So, yeah.”
However, when asked if the score was settled, Chastain shook his head and laughed saying, “I don’t know.”
RELATED: After Denny Hamlin Seemingly Promises To Fence Ross Chastain, Landon Cassill Calls Him Out For “Dumb Vengeful Driving”
Hamlin would then go on to appear to win the race, and made it abundantly clear the score was not settled during his victory speech.
The No. 11 driver for Joe Gibbs Racing exited his car and made a sleeping gesture and then sheepishly shrugged his shoulders.
When asked about a number of boos he received and his contact with Chastain and whether it was “straight payback,” Hamlin answered, “I mean what did you want me to do? What did you expect me to do? We got position on him and he just ran out of racetrack.”
When asked if it was over between the two, Hamlin responded, “We are just going to keep racing hard until we get the respect back from these guys. It’s not just that. We’ve been wrecked four times, twice while leading in the last 10 months. And I’m at the end of it.”
While Hamlin appeared to have won the race, NASCAR announced that both he and Kyle Busch were disqualified.
The official account tweeted, “NEWS: The Nos. 11 and 18 cars have been disqualified following post-race inspection at Pocono Raceway. Chase Elliot has been declared the winner of today’s race.”
NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director Brad Moran explained the decision to disqualify Hamlin and Busch saying, “We were doing our post-race inspections, which we would do. There was some issues discovered that affect aero of the vehicle. The part was the front fascia. And there really was no reason why there was some material that was somewhere it shouldn’t have been.”
“And that does basically come down to a DQ. It is a penalty. Both, first 11 Denny Hamlin and the 18 of Kyle Busch, have been DQ’d,” he added. “Their vehicles are being loaded in a NASCAR hauler. They’re gonna go back to the R&D Center. The final results have been changed to show that the two DQs were there.”
He concluded, “They have the opportunity to appeal it. It’ll be all sorted out by next week. Like Mike said I can’t get into all the details of what the issues were, but both vehicles had the same issue and unfortunately they were not acceptable to pass the inspection.”
What do you make of Hamlin seemingly promising more payback? What about Hamlin and Busch getting disqualified?
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