William Byron penalized for a hit on Hamlin that NASCAR missed
NASCAR on Tuesday also fined Ty Gibbs $75,000 and anchored 23XI Racing 25 owner points for what it called “retaliatory vehicle contact on pit road with crew members/officials at proximity; second offense” during Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Gibbs was running off pit road when he fired back at Ty Dillon, who had nearly collided with Gibbs as Gibbs was pit exiting. After swerving to avoid Dillon, Gibbs attempted to slam Dillon’s door shut and pushed Dillon’s car near a NASCAR official on pit road.
The Gibbs incident resulted in a larger monetary fine and an apology Tuesday from Joe Gibbs’ grandson.
“I need to have a better understanding of the situation and my environment,” Gibbs wrote on social media. “I am grateful that no one was injured and I will learn from that.”
It was Byron’s rotation of Hamlin that seriously tarnished Sunday’s race in Texas. Byron was admittedly angry after being pressed for track position by Hamlin, and he retaliated by cautiously spinning Hamlin.
“He took me out of the bedroom. We are lucky to have finished,” said Byron after the race. “I went to show my displeasure. I didn’t want to hit him and drag him out.
Due to the rotation, NASCAR dropped Hamlin in the running order for the ensuing restart despite desperate pleas from Hamlin and his Joe Gibbs Racing team.
“I guess we can just wreck ourselves with caution,” Hamlin complained after finishing 10th. Byron finished seventh.
After the race, NASCAR admitted that it did not see Byron spin Hamlin from his perch in the scoring tower. This infuriated Hamlin and other veteran drivers, who noted all the on-board camera angles, the technology available to NASCAR, and the huge video card inside the Texas infield that showed multiple replays of the incident. during the caution period.
Hamlin moved from sixth to fifth in the standings with Byron’s penalty. Four drivers will be removed from the 12-driver field after next week’s race in Charlotte.
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