Denny Hamlin got off with less of a penalty than what Hendrick Motorsports and Kaulig Racing got, but he still received a sizable penalty off the heels of the Phoenix Cup Series race.
NASCAR announced that they fined Hamlin $50,000 and 25 driver points due to intentional contact with Ross Chastain on the final laps of the race.
The sanctioning body determined that Hamlin violated sections of the rulebook pertaining to “attempting to manipulate the outcome” by taking out another car and “actions NASCAR finds to be detrimental to stock car racing.” Ironically, “Actions Detrimental” is the name of Hamlin’s podcast.
It was on this podcast that Hamlin revealed that he intentionally got into Chastain in the closing laps. Hamlin also said on the podcast that he and Chastain talked after the race and called a truce, but if he hadn’t been this honest, he probably wouldn’t have been penalized. Because he did, he’s out 25 points and $50,000.
It’s that bit that has rubbed people the wrong way. Yes, Hamlin and Chastain have history, but it was a seemingly innocuous incident. It wasn’t like last year when Bubba Wallace turned Kyle Larson into the wall at a high-speed track. And, let’s be honest here if Hamlin wasn’t honest, we’re not talking about this.
Either way, it’s got the NASCAR world talking.
So much for drivers “self-policing.”Don’t want to hear anyone claim that’s the case again. These guys settled it and called a truce. Apparently the only way to pay someone back is to make it look like an accident and lie about it. Otherwise, no retaliation allowed now. https://t.co/XBqNy3gMAM
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) March 15, 2023
This Denny Hamlin penalty is so silly.
— PJ Walsh (@PJWalsh24) March 15, 2023
Biggest takeaway from the Hamlin penalty – honesty is NEVER the best policy.
— Beyond the Flag (@Beyond_The_Flag) March 15, 2023
The 25 points doesn't sound like a lot for Denny Hamlin until you do the math and account for the possibility that it might cost himself 15 or 10 driver playoff points.
That's the equivalent of 3 or 2 wins respectively lost over the course of EACH round of the playoffs.
— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverRA) March 15, 2023
Also, Hamlin with big fine and loss of 25 points. So his decision to wreck Chastain cost him/11 team dearly…maybe up to 40 points.
— 🔥Fireball Turnbull 🚁 (@DougTurnbull) March 15, 2023