Motorsport News

Hendrick Motorsports, Kaulig Racing, Denny Hamlin Hit with Penalties Following Phoenix

William Byron Justin Haley racing, NKP

NASCAR released its penalty report on March 15, which included several substantial penalties.

The harshest penalty affects Hendrick Motorsports, who had the louvers of all four cars confiscated before the March 12 race at Phoenix Raceway.

The No. 5, 24 and 48 teams each were docked 100 owner points, 100 driver points, and 10 playoff points. The No. 9 team was docked 100 owner points and 10 playoff points, with no driver points penalties due to Chase Elliott being out.

The No. 31 team for Kaulig Racing, which is driven by Justin Haley, also received a penalty of 100 owner points, 100 driver points, and 10 playoff points being docked.

Additionally, all crew chiefs were fined $100K and suspended four races.

Another penalty handed down affected Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin, who was penalized for intentional contact with Ross Chastain on the final lap of the Phoenix race.

NASCAR cited Sections 4.4 B & D, which address manipulating the outcome of a race by wrecking another driver and actions found to be detrimental to stock car racing.

In turn 1, Hamlin washed up the track and took Chastain with him, putting both in the wall. Both were in the top 10 at the time, but Hamlin finished 23rd while Chastain finished 24th.

After admitting the contact was intentional on his podcast, Hamlin received a $50,000 fine and was docked 25 driver points for the incident. He was seventh in the points before the penalty was announced.

“When he knows it’s coming, he is the hardest guy to wreck on the planet,” Hamlin said on his podcast, Actions Detrimental. “But I just, I wanted to get back to racing honestly with him, and I think that that’s a lot of the conversation that we had after. … He came up to me, and he says, ‘I guess I deserve it.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I think so.’ …. So we talked, and I think that we are in a better place where I think we’re willing to put the past behind us, and I think that we’re going to judge each other from this point forward, and I think that’s the fairest way to do it.”

The No. 10 for Stewart-Haas Racing driven by Aric Almirola was also penalized for a safety violation. NASCAR cited Sections A & C for an improperly installed tire/wheel from the car. Almirola lost his wheel during stage two at Phoenix. Crew members Ryan Mulder and Sean Cotten were each suspended two races.

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