NASCAR fined and issued a driver points penalty to Denny Hamlin after he admitted to intentionally fencing Ross Chastain at the end of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway.
In a blog post, NASCAR declared, “Denny Hamlin was fined $50,000 and lost 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 you can see in the video below, Hamlin drove up the track and intentionally drove Chastain into the wall.
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.”
Hamlin claimed during the podcast, his actions were not payback for how Chastain raced him last year, but were for his actions at The Clash.
Chastain dumped Hamlin with less than 70 laps to go. Going into the corner, Chastain stuck his nose underneath Hamlin and sent him for a spin.
While Hamlin admitted to intentionally trying to wreck Chastain, he also revealed he and Chastain spoke at length following the race and that they had decided to come to a truce.
Hamlin relayed, “I just think we need to just race each other with better respect from this point forward and that’s what I hope to get out of this. He asked for a truce. I asked for a truce. And let’s just see how it goes from here.”
The 25 point penalty drops Hamlin down to 11th in the NASCAR Cup Series Standings following 100 point penalties to Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, William Byron, and Justin Haley for “unapproved parts modifications” relating to the hood louvres.
What do you make of NASCAR penalizing Hamlin for his actions?