Daniel Suarez waits on the grid during qualifying for the 2023 Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway ; Denny Hamlin walks onstage during driver intros prior to the 2023 Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
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"That's What He Gets": Daniel Suarez Blasts Denny Hamlin Over Phoenix Penalty

On Wednesday, March 15, NASCAR officially announced that Denny Hamlin would be fined $50,000 and docked 25 driver points after he admitted on his podcast Actions Detrimental that he purposely wrecked Ross Chastain at the previous week's Cup race at Phoenix Raceway. Of course, Denny's actions at Atlanta and NASCAR's decision to lay down the law polarized NASCAR drivers, pundits, and fans alike. As far as Daniel Suarez is concerned, "that's what he gets."

Ahead of the Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past Sunday, Chastain's Trackhouse Racing teammate said that Hamlin's actions didn't seem all that detrimental at first glance, but his "decision to look cool in the media" is what ultimately influenced NASCAR officials to penalize the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

"I think he definitely made contact, but if I only see the race, I think it's almost like a racing contact," said Suarez, whose win at Sonoma in 2022 made him the first Mexican-born driver to win a Cup Series race. "I don't think it was anything like super intentional, in my opinion. But then, I feel like, what he did wrong was to say what he said and that's what got him in trouble — not what he did on the track, in my opinion. But, we make decisions, and he made a decision to look cool in the media, and that's what he gets."

On March 17, Hamlin announced that he would be appealing his penalty, despite claiming that he wouldn't be pursuing an appeal just two days prior.

"After much consideration I've decided that I will appeal the decision by NASCAR to penalize me," Hamlin tweeted. "What happened on Sunday was common hard racing that happens each and every weekend. There was also no manipulation of the race nor actions detrimental to the sport."

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