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Hamlin sees appeals panel uphold all NASCAR penalties

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel has decided to uphold all penalties issued by NASCAR against Denny Hamlin.

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx 50 Toyota Camry

NASCAR fined Hamlin $50,000 and docked him 25 points for intentionally crashing into Ross Chastain and sending him into a wall at the end of the Cup race at Phoenix on 12 March.

Hamlin wasn’t initially penalised at the time, but was given the penalty after he admitted on his podcast the next day that he intentionally hit Chastain on the final restart of the race. The two drivers have had multiple on-track incidents dating back to last June.

“It wasn’t a mistake. I let the wheel go and I said, ‘He’s coming with me’,” Hamlin said on his podcast.

Hamlin at first said he would not appeal but later changed his mind.

Without the points penalty, he would be ninth in the regular season standings, but is instead down in 12th place.

Last September during the playoffs, William Byron was initially docked 25 driver points and fined $50,000 after intentionally spinning Hamlin under caution at Texas. A separate appeals panel rescinded his points penalty, but doubled the fine to $100,000.

Afterwards, NASCAR changed the language in the rulebook regarding such incidents.

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Shingrix Toyota Camry, Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Rheem Toyota Camry, Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing, Kubota Chevrolet Camaro

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Shingrix Toyota Camry, Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Rheem Toyota Camry, Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing, Kubota Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

Earlier this week, the panel also penalised Kaulig Racing and its driver Justin Haley for unapproved modifications of a single-source supplied part.

The panel said the team did violate NASCAR rules and upheld much of the harsh penalties issued to the team, including the $100,000 fine and four-race suspension for crew chief Trent Owens and the loss of 10 playoff points.

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The panel did, however, reduce the 100 owner and 100 driver points penalties to 75 points each.

The punishment followed NASCAR’s penalties to five Cup teams – all four Hendrick Motorsports teams and the #31 team from Kaulig – for the unapproved modification of hood louvers (vents) which are single-source parts.

Bonnet louvers serve as a release point for ducts that transfer air out of the radiator of each car.

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