Former NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch shared his thoughts to NASCAR penalizing Denny Hamlin after he intentionally attempted to wreck Ross Chastain during the closing laps of the race at Phoenix Raceway.
RELATED: NASCAR Penalizes Denny Hamlin For Wrecking Ross Chastain After He Admitted To Intentionally Fencing Him
NASCAR announced they fined Hamlin $50,000 and 25 driver points for “violating Sections 4.4 in the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct, which cover attempting to manipulate the outcome of the race or championship; wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from competition as a result; and actions detrimental to stock car racing or NASCAR.”
As seen in the video below, Hamlin drove up the track and intentionally slammed Chastain into the wall.
Following the race, Hamlin admitted to fencing Chastain on his podcast, Actions Detrimental, ““I’m about to get passed by everybody behind me who is on fresh tires. I’m about to finish in the mid teens. And I said, ‘You’re coming with me, buddy.’ It wasn’t a mistake. No, it wasn’t a mistake. I let the wheel go and I said, ‘He’s coming with me.’”
He would later add during the podcast, “I saw that we were the only people up top so I said, ‘I’m gonna send him in the fence and door him.’”
Hamlin even went on to admit that he attempted to spin out Chastain in the next corner as well, “He actually got the jump. He downshifted quicker and then he brake checked me a few times. You saw that from the inboard down the backstretch. He hit the brakes a couple times and I wasn’t letting off at all. It didn’t matter to me. And then after the brake checks then I went in to the next corner and tried.”
RELATED: Kenny Wallace Reacts To Denny Hamlin Admitting To Wrecking Ross Chastain: “You Want Entertainment Let It Be”
Busch reacted to the fine and points penalty in the lead-up to the Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway telling the press, “Keep your mouth shut. Simple as that. That’s what Logano did when he wrecked me in 2017. That was on purpose, but didn’t admit it.”
When asked whether he knows what NASCAR considers a racing incident versus what they don’t, Busch replied, “No.”
Asked whether that that would affect the way he would race, Busch responded, “I just try to focus on me and race how you’re supposed to race and hope that you don’t have issues that come up with other drivers, but occasionally you do and you handle them as you feel like you need to when that time comes.”
RELATED: Denny Hamlin Explains Why He Took Out Ross Chastain At The End Of The Race At Phoenix
Busch would go on to share his opinion that NASCAR is inconsistent with their rulings pointing to Hamlin and Chastain’s actions during the race at Gateway last year, “Last year at Gateway was a pretty good representation of cat and mouse and nothing was done. So what do you we do in those situations?”
When asked what he’d like to see done, Busch responded, “Drivers to be more ethical and take responsibility for their actions and just race and race hard, and if you make a mistake like, ‘Okay, fine I get it,’ but when you intentionally drive over somebody because they made a move on you or something that you didn’t like then you’re gonna get punched in the face afterwards.”
Busch would go on to state, “We have completely lost any sense of respect in the garage area between drivers. That’s where the problem lies. Nobody gives two shits about anybody else. And it’s just a problem where everybody takes advantage of everybody as much as they can. We’re all selfish granted, but there was an etiquette that once did live here. Mark [Martin] started it. Tony [Stewart] really lived by it. I think Jeff [Gordon] lived by it. Bobby Labonte. Rusty [Wallace] for the most. Dale Jarrett for sure. It did exist. That’s gone.”
Busch was then asked about what he tells his son on how he should race and showed a major difference in how local tracks handle incidents compared to the NASCAR Cup Series.
Busch said, “He already knows that he can’t run somebody over because he gets sent to the back. I think that’s something else because there’s no repercussions for running somebody over. So if we want to do that then you get sent to the back, you get held a lap, something.”
“But if you spin somebody out — and I’m guilty of it I’ve spun somebody out for the lead before or the win before or something like that on accident, racing — but if it happens then you get sent to the back; caution comes out you go to the back. There’s no repercussions for that right now. So that’s the old short track adage and how these kids learn when they’re growing up. Maybe we need to implement that here.”
He then doubled down on sending drivers to the rear for spinning out their competitors would be a good start, “For as hard as it is to pass and try to come back through the field at some of these places? Yea, I think that would. I think that would send a message. At least that’s a good starting point.”
Busch would close out the discussion answering a question about Hamlin and Chastain’s feud affecting him and other drivers noting the solution could be a good ole knuckle sandwich.
He said, “When it comes to the time in which it starts affecting other peoples’ races and such then again I think it leaves the door open for you to go punch somebody in the face.”
What do you make of Busch’s comments?
NEXT: Kyle Busch Shuts Down Reporters When They Ask Him Why He Conceal Carries