KANSAS CITY, KANSAS - SEPTEMBER 09: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Yahoo! Toyota, enters his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on September 09, 2023 in Kansas City, Kansas.
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Playoff Drivers Support NASCAR Crackdown On Restart Rules

Last Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway finally saw NASCAR officials crack down on a recent trend of drivers laying back on restarts. Many drivers in the sport have voiced their displeasure at how some drivers continue to do it without getting penalized.

That changed Sunday, as both AJ Allmendinger and Chase Elliott received pass-through penalties on pit road for laying back on the restart.

Denny Hamlin is one of those drivers who is happy that NASCAR finally punished someone for lagging behind the field in front of them hoping to hit the throttle a little sooner than their competition and gain an advantage. He covered the subject on the latest episode of "Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin."

"They did penalize two drivers for laying back," Hamlin said. "Good job NASCAR. Great Job. We have to have this. This is going to get the attention of the drivers. ... Did they get the nine? They're putting a line in the sand, that they're not going to put up with it. And certainly, this is what we asked for, and I applaud them for doing this because it had gotten out of hand."

Hamlin isn't the only playoff driver to share applaud NASCAR for penalizing drivers for laying back on restarts. Fox Sports Bob Pockrass asked both Christopher Bell and William Byron their thoughts on NASCAR finally cracking down.

Bell completely understood the move, and similar to Hamlin, is happy NASCAR made those calls.

"Definitely Bob," Bell said. "I think that was a very important call made on their part. ... I know that it has been talked about a lot in our monthly meetings with NASCAR with all the drivers and we talked about that it needs to be cleaned up."

As for Byron, he shared a similar sentiment as Bell and cited that it has been a major issue throughout the playoffs. When Hamlin raised questions about laying back on restarts after Kansas, Byron says he thought that NASCAR would start punishing drivers for laying back.

"That's something that has come up more in the last handful of weeks. I would say since Denny said something at Kansas really started to kind of get on their radar to police the restarts. I think it has been needed for a little bit," Byron said.

With NASCAR cracking down on Almendinger and Elliott at Las Vegas for laying back on a race restart, two questions now remain...How well have drivers received the message that the practice won't be tolerated and how committed will NASCAR be in the last three races in the season to continue enforcing the rule?

More: Denny Hamlin Slams NASCAR Over Current Restart Rules