NASCAR Fine Angers Hamlin

Denny Hamlin

"As far as I’m concerned, I’m not going to pay the fine. If they suspend me, they suspend me. I don’t care at this point." (Photo: Getty Images)

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Denny Hamlin is not pleased with NASCAR’s decision to fine him for comments made after last week’s race at Phoenix International Raceway.

In the wake of the sanctioning body fining Hamlin $25,000 for what was seen as “disparaging remarks” about the on track competition during the Subway Fresh Fit 500, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver voiced his displeasure to reporters at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"Ultimately, I’m not OK with it,” said Hamlin. “This is the most upset and angry I’ve been in a really, really long time, about anything, anything that relates to NASCAR. You have strong opinions about a lot of things, whether it be (Jeremy) Clements’ suspension, things like that. A lot of people hold their tongues, and some people don’t—like Brad (Keselowski). The truth is what the truth is, and I don’t believe in this. I’m never going to believe in it.”

Hamlin went as far as to say he would protest the penalty.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m not going to pay the fine,” he said. “If they suspend me, they suspend me. I don’t care at this point.”

Hamlin said he believes his analogy between the new Gen-6 Sprint Cup car and its predecessor is what caught the ire of the sanctioning body.

“For what I understand, it’s comparing the Gen-6 car to the Gen-5, comparing the two,” he said. “I shouldn’t have done that.”

Going forward Hamlin vowed not to speak about anything competition-related after Thursday’s decision.

"I’ll be honest. I’m not going to say anything for the rest of the year, as long as it relates to competition,” said Hamlin. You can ask me how my daughter is, talk to me after wins about what-have-you, but as long as it relates to competition, I’m out, from here on out.



"The bad part is that I feel like I’ve been a pretty good spokesman for them, and being positive when things aren’t always positive. They just lost one small spokesman today—that’s all.”

NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton addressed the media in Las Vegas to confirm Hamlin’s comments were viewed as being over the line.

"It's more of a matter of fact that you can't criticize your core product. Constructive criticism is one thing,'' said Pemberton. “There were different statements made that are damaging. We won't tolerate those type of things.''

Should Hamlin appeal the fine, Pemberton said the process is in place for him to do so and he can continue to compete until a final decision.

"It's like every other appeal," said Pemberton. "Over the course of time, you remember mechanics and crew chiefs, whatever, if they appeal, then they can continue to carry on business as usual until the appeal has been heard and ruled on."

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Denny Hamlin

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