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Hendrick Motorsports, Kaulig Racing, Denny Hamlin Hit with Penalties Following Phoenix

NASCAR released its penalty report on March 15, which included several substantial penalties.

The harshest penalty affects Hendrick Motorsports, who had the louvers of all four cars confiscated before the March 12 race at Phoenix Raceway.

The No. 5, 24 and 48 teams each were docked 100 owner points, 100 driver points, and 10 playoff points. The No. 9 team was docked 100 owner points and 10 playoff points, with no driver points penalties due to Chase Elliott being out.

The No. 31 team for Kaulig Racing, which is driven by Justin Haley, also received a penalty of 100 owner points, 100 driver points, and 10 playoff points being docked.

Additionally, all crew chiefs were fined $100K and suspended four races.

Another penalty handed down affected Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin, who was penalized for intentional contact with Ross Chastain on the final lap of the Phoenix race.

NASCAR cited Sections 4.4 B & D, which address manipulating the outcome of a race by wrecking another driver and actions found to be detrimental to stock car racing.

In turn 1, Hamlin washed up the track and took Chastain with him, putting both in the wall. Both were in the top 10 at the time, but Hamlin finished 23rd while Chastain finished 24th.

See also
Dropping the Hammer: A Ross Chastain-Denny Hamlin Truce? Say It Ain't So

After admitting the contact was intentional on his podcast, Hamlin received a $50,000 fine and was docked 25 driver points for the incident. He was seventh in the points before the penalty was announced.

“When he knows it’s coming, he is the hardest guy to wreck on the planet,” Hamlin said on his podcast, Actions Detrimental. “But I just, I wanted to get back to racing honestly with him, and I think that that’s a lot of the conversation that we had after. … He came up to me, and he says, ‘I guess I deserve it.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I think so.’ …. So we talked, and I think that we are in a better place where I think we’re willing to put the past behind us, and I think that we’re going to judge each other from this point forward, and I think that’s the fairest way to do it.”

The No. 10 for Stewart-Haas Racing driven by Aric Almirola was also penalized for a safety violation. NASCAR cited Sections 8.8.10.4 A & C for an improperly installed tire/wheel from the car. Almirola lost his wheel during stage two at Phoenix. Crew members Ryan Mulder and Sean Cotten were each suspended two races.

About the author

Luken Glover joined the Frontstretch team in 2020 as a contributor, furthering a love for racing that traces back to his earliest memories. Glover inherited his passion for racing from his grandfather, who used to help former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey in his Richmond, Va. garage. A 2023 graduate from the University of the Cumberlands, Glover is the author of "The Underdog House," contributes to commentary pieces, and does occasional at-track reporting. Additionally, Glover enjoys working in ministry, coaching basketball, playing sports, and karting.

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Kurt Smith

Intentionally wreck another driver in a car that has already caused two drivers to suffer concussions: 25 points.

Mess with NASCAR’s spec parts and risk upsetting their precious hard-fought parity: 100 points.

Yep, NASCAR’s priorities are clear. See you in Atlanta for another IROC-style wreckfest.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kurt Smith
Bill B

Agree with your overall sentiment. HMS drivers should have gotten penalized just like they were. Pennis should have been penalized either 150 points or 25 points and a 1 race suspension (knocking him out of playoff eligibility without a NASCAR granted waiver).

Bill B

How do you like them apples CHIEF? So much for what you think you know.

I knew this penalty was coming. NASCAR has been pretty consistent with the penalty for manipulating parts so all of you conspiracy theorists that think it’s fixed for HMS and Chevy can choke on it while you choke your chicken.

Pennis Hamlin should have gotten 25 points for the intentional wreck and another 100 point penalty for stupidity. What an idiot. Should have waited until the end of the season before you decided to gloat. He’s been around long enough, he should have known better. HAW-HAW Pennis.

Bill B

HAW HAW

Last edited 1 year ago by Bill B
CHIEF

Smokescreen Billy Butt. Obviously, you too observed how taking their hood louvers definitely changed the gm performance and the outcome of the race – NOT. Choke on that ! Score update: gm-4 toyota/ford-0

Bill B

Come on, I agree that HMS has led the most laps of any team by far, so I can’t deny that, but to use the wins as proof is a stretch. A crapshoot restrictor plate race and two GWC finish races doesn’t really mean much these days.
A smokescreen. I get it, you’re one of those conspiracy people. No matter what anyone says or what happens in reality you will have an answer that cannot be proven. A half a million dollar and 400 point smokescreen… LOL Good answer! Can’t argue with that.

CHIEF

Wins are the only proof they’re racing for, otherwise they’re just out taking a Sunday afternoon ride.

Old Fan

I wasn’t really paying attention to the broadcast, but I thought they said that Almirola’s wheel broke and part of it was still attached when he made it back to the pits. So now you get penalized when a part fails? Or did something else happen to cause the wheel to come off?

DoninAjax

Why wasn’t the tampering with the louvres found during the first inspection and addressed? Why were they allowed to be used in Brian’s product? Aren’t the cars inspected the morning of the event?

Kicks

The louvers were found and confiscated prior to qualifying. The cars were raced with replacement parts.

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