NASCAR admits missing Byron/Hamlin clash under caution, but will review it

NASCAR's Sr. Vice President of Competition Scott Miller admits race control missed the contact between William Byron and Denny Hamlin under yellow at Texas on Sunday night that sent Hamlin spinning through the infield.

The incident came seconds after race leader Martin Truex had hit the wall at Turn 3 when his right-rear tire blew out. Miller says the race direction team were focused on that, when the Byron/Hamlin clash occurred right beneath them approaching the start/finish line moments later.

TV replays didn’t show the full picture of what happened, but footage from Byron’s in-car camera, that emerged after the race, showed he didn’t slow down and rammed Hamlin from behind.

Hamlin said: “I can’t argue the rules with [NASCAR] inside the car, and the team did everything they could to try to make a case but ultimately we went spinning through the infield under caution.”

 

Earlier in the race, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver Hamlin had run Byron wide on the exit of Turn 2, which led to his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet hitting the wall. But, speaking about the clash under yellow on the frontstretch, Byron claimed that he didn’t mean to intentionally spin Hamlin, who then took retaliation of his own by bumping Byron’s car twice just behind the pace car.

“I’ll have to be honest with you, when we were in the [race control] tower we were paying more attention to the actual cause of the caution and dispatching our equipment,” Miller told reporters after the race. “The William Byron/Denny Hamlin thing we had no eyes on, we saw Denny go through the grass, and by the time we got to a replay that showed the incident well enough to do anything to it, we’d already gone back to green.

“I’m not sure that that issue is completely resolved as of yet, so we’ll be looking at that when we get back to work.”

Once he was made aware of Miller’s comments on Twitter by The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck, Hamlin replied: “They missed it? What a f*#k joke. It played on the screen 5 times during caution.

After further clarification, he tweeted back again – and asked “What are they doing up there then?”

 
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