Penalties from Phoenix


Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs 

NASCAR issued substantial penalties to multiple teams on Wednesday, March 15th, including all four Hendrick Motorsports stables. 

NASCAR penalized Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, and William Byron 100 driver points and penalized them 10 playoff points each. The penalties come from issues found with the organization’s hood louvers at Phoenix Raceway. 

In addition, NASCAR has suspended HMS crew chiefs Cliff Daniels, Alan Gustafson, Rudy Fugle, and Blake Harris for four races each. NASCAR issued each crew chief a $100,000 fine. 

The four teams each received a deduction of 100 owner points and 10 playoff points. 

Bowman (who was previously the points leader), Byron, and Larson were in the top five in the points.  They now sit outside the top 20 in the standings.  

Hendrick Motorsports issued this statement: “We are disappointed with today’s decision by NASCAR to issue penalties and have elected to appeal based on a variety of facts.”

Hendrick Motorsports will not seek a deferral of crew chief suspensions. As a result, all four team crew chiefs will miss Sunday’s Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. 

NASCAR confiscated the hood louvers (air vents) from each HMS team after Friday’s practice at Phoenix Raceway. Series officials allowed them to run practice before taking possession of the hood louvers, despite discovering the issue beforehand. 

"It was obvious to us that these parts had been modified in an area that wasn’t approved,” said Elton Sawyer, NASCAR's senior vice president of competition. “This is a consistent penalty with what we went through last year. … We felt like to keep the garage on a level playing field and the competition level where it needs to be, all the dialogue that went around this car last year, working with the owners on what the deterrent model should be, we were put in a position where we felt there was no other way but to write a penalty.”

NASCAR issued the same penalties to Justin Haley, driver of the No. 31 for Kaulig Racing. NASCAR docked Haley 100 points and 10 playoff points, suspended crew chief Trent Owens for four races, fined him $100,000, and penalized the team 100 car owner points and 10 playoff points.

Outside of car infraction penalties, NASCAR issued penalties to three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin. Hamlin was fined $50,000 and lost 25 driver points for admitting he intentionally wrecked Ross Chastain on the final lap of Sunday’s United Rentals Work United 500. 

Hamlin talked about his actions on his “Actions Detrimental” podcast Monday night. 

NASCAR punished Hamlin for his “behavior” per the NASCAR Rule Book under Section 4.4. The section includes but is not limited to, attempting to manipulate the outcome of a race, wrecking another vehicle, and actions “detrimental to stock car racing or NASCAR.”

Penalties from Phoenix Penalties from Phoenix Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 Rating: 5