UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials penalized a Team Penske crew member Monday for his role in a post-race scuffle between drivers Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin at Martinsville Speedway.
Competition officials suspended Dave Nichols Jr., a tire technician for Logano’s No. 22 team, for the next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race for his role in an altercation after Sunday’s First Data 500. He was found in violation of Section 12.8.1.C of the 2019 NASCAR Rule Book, a behavioral penalty that addresses "member-to-member confrontation with physical violence."
— NASCAR.com —
UPDATE: A NASCAR official hinted Monday that a penalty could be coming as early as today to the crew member who yanked Denny Hamlin to the ground during a confrontation between Hamlin and Joey Logano after Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway.
NASCAR met after the race with Travis Geisler, competition director at Team Penske, Todd Gordon, crew chief for Joey Logano, and the unnamed Team Penske crew member who threw down Hamlin.
"Then, unfortunately, instead of kind of breaking up a fight, I think what we saw was an aggressive move by a crew member … I think in this case, you’ve got a crew member who was maybe trying to break it up but certainly an aggressive move that we viewed on our part and unfortunately we’ll probably have to take some action to address that later today or tomorrow."
– NBC Sports —
"Unfortunately we will probably have to take some action to address that today or tomorrow" @NASCAR's @odsteve on the post-race scuffle between @joeylogano & @dennyhamlin #TMDNASCAR | #NASCARPlayoffs | @TheMikeBagley | @PPistone pic.twitter.com/4pDIKONdLA
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) October 28, 2019
Denny, what happened between you and Joey Logano?
DENNY HAMLIN: We were having a discussion, everything was civil, and then like Joey does, he does a little push and then runs away. So that’s Joey. Scared ?? he said, "Do you want to go?" I said, "Yes, I’m here." But then he runs away.
What was the altercation on track that led to it?
DENNY HAMLIN: I got close off of Turn 4. It looks like we got together, and it looks like collateral damage. He blew a tire. I mean, he would probably say, oh, short track racing.
Are you going to find him after this?
DENNY HAMLIN: No, I don’t need to find him.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 27, 2019
Joey, Denny said he felt like it was a civilized conversation until you pushed him. What’s your side of the story?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I just wanted to talk to him about it and was pretty frustrated. He just kind of came off the corner like there wasn’t another car on the outside of him and ruined our day. A shot at the win for sure. We probably weren’t going to beat the 19, but we had a top 5 for sure coming our way, but we just were able to survive there.
I don’t really know what happened because once he started hitting me he didn’t lift, he just kept finishing me off. We ran each other fine all day, so I don’t know. I don’t really know what happened. He just kind of sends me up there and keeps on going with it. Cut down my tires and fender rubs everywhere.
You know, at the end of the day we still got a decent finish out of it and some points in the stages at least. But a little frustrated with the situation. I wanted to talk to him about it, and maybe I shouldn’t have shoved him at the end. It may have escalated it a little bit more. It’s frustrating. There’s a lot of passion out there.
Why did it get physical, and what did you want to deliver in terms of a message to Denny by going down and talking to him?
JOEY LOGANO: I honestly just wanted to see what he was going to say, and he really wasn’t apologetic at all. That’s more frustrating when someone is like that, isn’t it? When someone wrecks you and he’s like, meh, that’s not really what I was going for there. I just wanted to see what his thoughts were, and wasn’t quite the answer I was looking for.
Is this what the Round of Eight in these playoffs do, bring out these emotions?
JOEY LOGANO: Just the playoffs. It just happens. It’s part of it. Emotions run high.
— NASCAR —