The playoff picture has changed dramatically as NASCAR announces penalties to William Byron, as well as Ty Gibbs following the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Byron, frustrated after he felt Denny Hamlin ran him into the outside wall, intentionally hit the back of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota under caution.
Hamlin spun as a result and lost several positions. His team called for Byron to be sent to the back of the field, but no action was taken at the time. NASCAR later confessed that they initially missed the incident while focusing on the actual cause of the caution.
NASCAR has now found Byron to be in violation of the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct, and fined him $50,000. More significantly, they have docked Byron and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team 25 driver and owner points.
Byron, who was 17 points above the cut line and third in the standings after finishing seventh at Texas, has now dropped into the elimination zone. He is down to tenth in the standings, eight points out. The penalty also moves Chase Briscoe above the cut line.
HMS will appeal the penalty.
Additionally, NASCAR has also issued a behavioral penalty to 19-year-old Ty Gibbs, his second offense this year. He too violated the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct after appearing to swerve into the car of Ty Dillon on pit road, sending Dillon's car towards RFK Racing crew members.
Gibbs has been fined $75,000 and the No. 23 23XI Racing team has been docked 25 owner points. Gibbs does not compete for points at the Cup level, so there were no driver points docked.
Gibbs has since posted the following statement on social media: "I want to apologize for what happened on pit road during the race Sunday. I have to have a better understanding of the situation and my surroundings. I'm thankful no one was injured and will learn from it."