Denny Hamlin will join Hendrick Motorsports and Kaulig Racing upon the list of parties set to appeal penalties from last weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Phoenix Raceway, just two days after the driver originally said he wouldn’t appeal.
Hamlin, who competes full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing and co-owns 23XI Racing, was fined $50,000 and docked 25 NASCAR Cup Series driver points, after a scuffle in NASCAR Overtime with Ross Chastain.
However, it wasn’t the act of putting Ross Chastain into the outside wall which landed him the penalty per se, after the Chesterfield, Virginia native went on his podcast ‘Actions Detrimental’ and admitted to intentionally putting the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro into the outside wall, saying “It wasn’t a mistake.”
Hamlin announced his intentions to appeal the penalty on Friday afternoon, writing in a Tweet: “After much consideration, I’ve decided that I will appeal the decision made by NASCAR to penalize me. What happened on Sunday was common hard racing that happens each and every weekend. There was also no manipulation of the race nor actions detrimental to the sport.”
Elton Sawyer, NASCAR’s SVP of Competition, said this past week that it was Hamlin’s admittance of intentionally putting Chastain into the outside wall that forced the sanctioning body to penalize the driver of the No. 11 and that otherwise, it would have been viewed as a racing incident.
NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Elton Sawyer said that Denny Hamlin admitting he wrecked Ross Chastain on purpose forced the sanctioning body to act. He said they would have looked at it as a racing incident otherwise. pic.twitter.com/sWalUFy0jt
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) March 15, 2023
While the semantics of this penalty appeal seem rather cut-and-dry, it will be up to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to decide whether or not Hamlin was unjustly penalized, and if he’ll see his fine and points penalty reversed.