Hamlin Humble In Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Denny Hamlin admitted he had some growing up to do Friday.

Hamlin had some time to think about his incident with Kyle Petty last week at Dover and offered an apology of sorts Friday at the Kansas Speedway for the altercation both on and off the track.

"Kyle is someone I really respect a lot, regardless of any on-track incident," Hamlin told reporters. "No matter what you do, Kyle is going to be right.

"And a lot of what he did was right. You never want to be involved in an incident with Kyle because he is respected a lot like Mark Martin is in the garage. So really, I've just got to learn to grow up."

After Hamlin and Petty were involved in a tangle on the race track at Dover, an incident that swept up Clint Bowyer, the duo got into it following the accident.

Petty walked up to Hamlin and the two exchanged words before Petty slammed Hamlin's visor down and walked away.

Hamlin said afterward the move by Petty deserved a "punch in the face."

I personally know that he got loose in front of me; I was right on him when I hit him," Hamlin said. "So there's really not a whole lot I could have done. There was a closing rate that was big."

“But I probably shouldn’t have went after him. I should have just let it go as soon as he chose to hit my helmet. I should have just let it go and not gotten out of the car. It would have been no big issue, really.”

A slow start to the Chase has Hamlin scrambling to get back into contention for this year's championship. The sophomore driver said he wants to just focus on racing and get away from off-track encounters.

"I have to figure out how to get through a season without altercations," Hamlin said. "I expect more of myself and have expectations this year that I didn't have last year. That probably has caused me to do some things I normally wouldn't do."

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