Sunday, March 26, 2023

Scott Miller: While NASCAR Was ‘Annoyed’ With Hamlin, No Foul at Gateway

Ross Chastain Denny Hamlin Scott Miller Gateway 2022
NASCAR’s Scott Miller says there are no penalties coming from the on-track shenanigans between Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin at Gateway and that the sanctioning body is still deciding if they’ll meet with both drivers before Sonoma. Photo Credit: LAT Images © 2022 Jasen Vinlove, Courtesy of Toyota Racing

There will be no penalties levied toward Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott or Ross Chastain for the on-track shenanigans this past weekend during the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway at Gateway.

Scott Miller, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competition, spoke about the situation in an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday. And said that the sanctioning body would like to let the drivers police the situation, so long as there is no obvious intentional crashing.

“Certainly we don’t like to see things like that. But there’s a certain amount of, we kind of have to let them handle it on their own somewhat,” Miller explained. “And what we saw, while we were annoyed by it, there was no real contact. Neither one. They tried to make life miserable for Ross, we all witnessed that, but at least we didn’t see a blatant take out or anything like that.”

During the race, Chastain made contact with Hamlin, which ruined his day and Chastain later made contact, which sent Elliott spinning.

Both Elliott and Hamlin got retaliation during the day, but it was a more methodical style of retaliation then we are used to in the world of NASCAR. Instead of flat-out wrecking Chastain back, Hamlin and Elliott waged in a mental war with Chastain throughout the course of the race.

Following the race, Chastain owned up to his mistakes and explained that he deserved whatever he got in retaliation from Hamlin and Elliott and that he owed, “an apology to half the field,” after mistakes he made in Sunday’s race.

Miller is optimistic that with Chastain admitting fault in his post-race interview and the long week ahead that Hamlin, Elliott and Chastain can let bygones be bygones. But there is a chance the sanctioning body sits everyone down before this weekend’s event at Sonoma Raceway to talk it over.

“It was obvious from Ross’ post-race comments that he’s made some mistakes out there and wants to make it right. But it’s kind of up to those guys to sort it out and how it moves forward from there,” Miller said. “We’ll obviously keep a close eye on them, as we do in all of these situations. Probably, we’ll may have them in the trailer face-to-face to talk about it as we’ve done before. We have our debrief, actually just after this call, of the race weekends. We do that on Tuesday mornings and we’ll discuss that situation further and decide how we’re going to move forward with it.”

Miller explained that the sanctioning body did not speak to any of the parties involved this past weekend after the race at Gateway and that they tend to let things calm down between the drivers before meeting with them, unless there is a, “blatant take out in retaliation.”

Here is the entire spot from Tuesday’s SiriusXM interview, where Miller spoke about the beef between Chastain and Hamlin and Chastain and Elliott.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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