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NASCAR Investigating Denny Hamlin Comments About Incident with Ross Chastain

by Suzanne Halliburton
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NASCAR plans to look into Denny Hamlin’s post-race comments about how he planned to make contact with Ross Chastain’s car on the last lap of Sunday’s event at Phoenix Raceway.

Elton Sawyer is NASCAR’s senior VP for competition. Early Tuesday, he said of the Denny Hamlin remarks “without a doubt, it’s on our radar.” Sawyer said this during an interview on “The Morning Drive” show on SiriusXM’s NASCAR radio.

Denny Hamlin Described What He Did During His Own Podcast

Hamlin discussed the situation on his podcast, Actions Detrimental. He described the scene near the end of the race. Denny Hamlin said he had only two fresh tires. He said when his car didn’t handle well after the first turn, he knew he “was screwed.”

“I was about to go backwards,” Denny Hamlin said. “I had all the four-tire cars on my (rear). … My crew chief told me there were 18 cars on the lead lap. At that point, I said, ‘Alright, I’m probably running sixth or seventh, I’m about to get passed by everyone behind me on fresh tires. I’m about to finish in the mid-teens. I said, ‘You’re (Ross Chastain) coming with me buddy.’

“It wasn’t a mistake. No, it wasn’t a mistake,” Denny Hamlin added. I let the wheel go, and I said he’s coming with me. It’s been interesting because I hear people say this is for last year or this year. I got wrecked at the Clash. I don’t know that Ross sees it that way. (And) I think he’s still curious about what I thought about the Clash. I don’t know why he wonders what I thought about the Clash.”

NASCAR Could Fine Hamlin Both in Points and Money

NBC Sports pointed out a key NASCAR rule that could pertain to Denny Hamlin’s situation with Ross Chastain.

“Section 4.4.B of the Cup Rule Book states that a competitor can be fined 25-50 points and/or fined $50,000-$100,000 for a series of violations that includes “Wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result.”