HomeSportsNascarDenny Hamlin Reverses Decision and Will Appeal NASCAR Penalty For Ross Chastain Incident

Denny Hamlin Reverses Decision and Will Appeal NASCAR Penalty For Ross Chastain Incident

by Jonathan Howard
Denny Hamlin at Phoenix Raceway
(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

At first, Denny Hamlin wasn’t going to make a lot of fuss. However, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver is going to appeal the penalty he was given. On Monday’s edition of Hamlin’s podcast, he admitted to making contact with Ross Chastain on purpose at the end of the race. NASCAR didn’t take kindly to that.

Denny Hamlin is set to appeal the $50,000, 25-point penalties he was given. On the restart at Phoenix Hamlin explained that he had only two tires. When he saw Chastain near him he made contact. He said, “It wasn’t a mistake.”

Now, he says that what he did amounted to “hard racing”. At first, he didn’t seem interested in appealing.

“After much consideration I’ve decided that I will appeal the decision by NASCAR to penalize me. What happened on Sunday was common hard racing that happens each and every weekend. There was no manipulation of the race nor actions detrimental to the sport.”

Denny Hamlin might be looking at this from an experience standpoint. The National Motorsports Appeals Panel is an independent body that has not been afraid to reverse decisions in the past.

In fact, one incident that Hamlin was caught up in last year involved William Byron. Byron spun Hamlin out on a caution. Instead of a $50k fine and 50-point deduction, Byron earned his points back and was instead fined $100,000. Yes, those points are worth that much to these drivers.

Can Denny Hamlin Win His Appeal?

I don’t think Denny Hamlin makes the appeal if he doesn’t think he can win it. Whether that is a change in points or the fine or both, he is betting the appeals panel will show him mercy. However, what doesn’t help is the fact that he admitted to what he did for everyone to hear.

Hamlin made the decision when he realized that he was losing grip and had a chance to make Chastain pay. This was apparently for getting into Hamlin at The Clash.

“I said, ‘You’re coming with me buddy.’ That’s what I did. It wasn’t a mistake, no it wasn’t a mistake. I unleashed, I let the wheel go and said he’s coming with me,” he said on his podcast.

This rivalry just gets more interesting by the day and while NASCAR might not like it, fans love it. Dale Earnhardt Jr. loves it, too! The best part is that Ross Chastain just has to drive like he always does – it just never ends.

So, Denny Hamlin feels that he shouldn’t be penalized. Whether the appeals panel agrees is up for discussion.