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Hendrick, Kaulig & Hamlin appeal NASCAR penalties

Entries #5 and #24 were two of four Hendrick Motorsports teams penalized by NASCAR this week. (Photo by HHP/Jim Fluharty)

In response to NASCAR’s extensive criminal report released Wednesday, the three parties significantly affected have filed appeals — Hendrick Motorsports, Kaulig Racing and Denny Hamlin.

On Friday, Hendrick Motorsports announced it would appeal the series of penalties they had been assigned in connection with hood blinds NASCAR confiscated from four of their Cup Series cars at Phoenix Raceway last weekend.

The team released a statement that read, “Friday at Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR identified air vents on our race cars during a voluntary inspection 35 minutes after opening the garage and prior to on-track activity. NASCAR took possession of the parts approximately four hours later without notice. The situation had no impact on qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.”

Hendrick Motorsports also wrote that NASCAR’s sanctioning authority notice was “inconsistent and unclear” regarding hood louvers.

The penalty included a $100,000 fine and a four-race suspension for any crew chief involving teams #5, #9, #24, and #48. Drivers Kyle Larson, William Byron, and Alex Bowman lost 100 driver points and 10 playoff points, while all four teams lost 100 points in the owner standings.

NASCAR issues severe penalties to Hendrick Motorsports for unapproved parts

“We shouldn’t be in this situation and it’s really unfortunate that we are because it doesn’t help anyone,” said Chad Knuas, vice president of competition at Hendrick Motorsports. “I don’t understand why you get hung and quartered for a voluntary inspection thing where you’re usually told, ‘Hey, you need to work on this, or hey, we need to discuss what’s going on.'”

Team President and General Manager Jeff Andrews also noted that no L2 penalty was assessed during an inaugural or pre-race inspection during the 2022 season. The L2 penalties imposed concerned post-race inspections.

The team has not filed a request to extend personal suspensions for this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Instead, Kevin Meendering (No. 5), Tom Gray (No. 9), Brian Campe (No. 24) and Greg Ives (No. 48) will step in as Crew Chiefs.

A general appointment date has yet to be determined.

Kaulig Racing also announced its decision to appeal the L2 penalty imposed on its No. 31 team, mirroring the penalties imposed on Hendrick Motorsports. Kaulig Racing have made plans to seek a stay of the Crew Chief’s suspension while they await the appeal hearing.

The third party affected by NASCAR’s midweek penalty report was Hamlin, the No. 11 driver for Joe Gibbs Racing. He was fined $50,000 and deducted 25 points in the driver’s standings for violating Section 4.4 of the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct.

Following a racing accident involving Ross Chastain during last Sunday’s event at Phoenix Raceway, Hamlin admitted on his Actions Detrimental podcast that he intended to send Chastain in the fence and “go through it.” NASCAR evaluated his claims and fined him for “attempting to manipulate the outcome of the race,” “destroying or rotating another vehicle,” and acting in a manner that “NASCAR deems harmful to stock car racing.” .

On Wednesday, Hamlin tweeted that he would not be filing an appeal with NASCAR.

Two days later, however, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver changed his position.

“After much deliberation, I have decided that I will appeal NASCAR’s decision to penalize me. What happened on Sunday was usual, tough races that happen every weekend,” Hamlin wrote on Twitter. “There was also no manipulation of the race or actions detrimental to the sport.”

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