In the wake of the William Byron and Denny Hamlin incident at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR has officially changed the penalties moving forward. Of course, they cannot retroactively penalize Byron after the appeal. However, this changes things for the future.
At Texas, William Byron bumped Hamlin on a caution lap, spun the No. 11 out, and sent him into the infield. So, the veteran driver went from top-5 to somewhere down in the 20s. It was not caught at the time and the race continued as it was going. When Byron did get penalized it was days after. He was hit with a $50,000 fine and a 25-point deduction in the driver and team owner standings.
After those penalties were handed out, Hendrick Motorsports appealed. Then a panel was put together, independent of NASCAR itself, from the National Motorsports Appeals Panel. So, using the rules and the wording at the time, the penalties for Byron were amended. The change was to a $100,000 fine and he had his points reinstated.
Seeing the error in the way the rules were written and to prevent future incidents from happening, NASCAR revised the penalties. Before the change, it was an and/or situation on the fine and the points deduction. Now, it’s just “and”. So both fines and points penalties will be used in future punishments.
Bob Pockrass with Fox Sports tweeted out the wording changes.
William Byron will not have any more changes to his penalty, the appeals panel made their decision and that’s that. However, in the future, the next driver to pull something like that will get hit with both a fine and a points penalty.
William Byron and Denny Hamlin Feud Not Settled
In case you thought that Denny Hamlin would be fine with seeing the penalties handed out to William Byron, you don’t know Hamlin. When he makes an enemy, it can be a long-lasting grudge. Byron just happened to bump the one driver you don’t want to bump. The No. 11 has a better position in the standings heading to the Roval than the 24. So, he might be willing to take a risk out there.
William Byron has done a good job of keeping his head low in NASCAR. However, it feels like he has poked a bear here and he’s not going to know what to do with it. If Hamlin sees a chance to make life hell at Charlotte this Sunday, he’s going to do it. NASCAR Playoffs action continues!