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April 6, 2023

Appeals panel upholds penalties levied to Denny Hamlin

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel ruled Thursday to uphold the penalties issued to Denny Hamlin for his incident with Ross Chastain during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway.

The decision affirms the fine of $50,000 issued to the driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in addition to the deduction of 25 driver points in the championship standings.

RELATED: Standings | Original penalty report

The initial penalty stemmed from contact Hamlin delivered to Chastain on the penultimate lap at Phoenix on March 12, squeezing Chastain into the outside wall in Turns 1 and 2 as Hamlin slid high. Recording his podcast, “Actions Detrimental,” the next day, Hamlin admitted his intent to wall Chastain.

With his points already reduced, Hamlin remains 12th in driver standings, 75 points behind series leader Alex Bowman.

The initial penalty report cited Sections 4.4 in the NASCAR Rule Book, which pertains to the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct. Within that section, these items were detailed: B. Attempting to manipulate the outcome of the race or championship and wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from competition as a result. D. Actions NASCAR finds to be detrimental to stock racing or NASCAR.

The Appeals Panel members for this hearing were: Hunter Nickell, Dale Pinilis and Lyn St. James.

Hamlin has the right to appeal the ruling to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with the NASCAR Rule Book.