NASCAR announced penalties that were handed down to William Byron and Ty Gibbs following the recent Cup Series Playoff event at Texas Motor Speedway that occurred this past Sunday, September 25.
Byron was fined $50,000 and docked 25 driver points for spinning Playoff rival Denny Hamlin under caution during the event. His No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team was also docked 25 owner points.
The incident occurred with 66 laps remaining when Hamlin’s teammate Martin Truex Jr. drew a caution after wrecking while leading the event. Once after the caution was displayed, Byron, who was irritated from making contact with Hamlin and towards the backstretch wall while battling him for a top-five earlier, bumped and sent Hamlin spinning sideways across the frontstretch, an incident Byron stated as intentional without any means of spinning Hamlin. The spin, however, prompted Hamlin to pull his car alongside Byron’s to express his displeasure, though he was not permitted to retain his spot towards the front. Byron went on to finish seventh while Hamlin rallied to end up 10th.
As a result of the penalty, Byron, who left Texas in third place in the Playoff standings and 17 points above the top-eight cutline to transfer to the Round of 8, has dropped to 10th place in the standings as he trails the cutline by eight points. He now has the upcoming two Round of 12 events at Talladega Superspeedway and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course in early October to make up for the deficit before the round concludes and proceeds to the Round of 8. Hamlin, however, is now scored in fifth place in the standings and is 15 points above the cutline.
Meanwhile, Gibbs, a full-time Xfinity Series competitor for Joe Gibbs Racing who is coming off his 10th Cup Series event as an interim competitor for 23XI Racing, was fined $75,000 after slamming into the side of the No. 42 Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 piloted by Ty Dillon on pit road as a retaliatory act after getting hit by Dillon. The contact came within close proximity towards Chris Buescher’s pit crew personnel and NASCAR officials whom were working in nearby pit stalls, though no members were hit.
In addition to the driver being fined, the No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota TRD Camry entry that was piloted by Gibbs, which finished 20th at Texas, was docked 25 owner points.
This marks Gibbs’ second fine of the 2022 campaign. At Martinsville Speedway in April, he was fined $15,000 for a behavioral violation after ramming into the rear of the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro entry piloted by Sam Mayer during the cooldown lap at the conclusion of the Xfinity Series event. The incident, which stemmed from Gibbs being shuffled out towards the lead during an overtime attempt before getting hit by Mayer and falling back to eighth place on the final lap and final corner, resulted with both competitors confronting one another and fighting on pit road before being separated by their respective teams and officials.
Along with the two drivers’ penalties, NASCAR revealed that Patrick Briody, a mechanic for Our Motorsports’ No. 02 Chevrolet Camaro entry that was piloted by Patrick Retzlaff at Texas, has been suspended indefinitely for violating NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy.
With the Cup Series competitors and teams coming off an eventful event at Texas, the next event on the schedule and towards the Playoff’s Round of 12 is Talladega Superspeedway. The event is scheduled to occur on Sunday, October 2, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.