DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –Denny Hamlin spoke his mind following Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix Int’l Raceway, and NASCAR has made sure he will pay for it.
NASCAR has fined Hamlin $25,000 for comments he made following the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at PIR. NASCAR determined that Hamlin violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book.
NASCAR issued the following statement regarding the penalty:
“Following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event last Sunday at Phoenix Int’l Raceway, Denny Hamlin made some disparaging remarks about the on-track racing that had taken place that afternoon. While NASCAR gives its competitors ample leeway in voicing their opinions when it comes to a wide range of aspects about the sport, the sanctioning body will not tolerate publicly made comments by its drivers that denigrate the racing product.”
Following Sunday’s race at PIR Hamlin, who finished third, voiced his concern about the passing ability of the new Gen-6 race car NASCAR introduced.
“I didn’t have much all day. Honestly the pit crew and Darian Grubb carried us today. It is just so hard to pass. You’re going to hear it a lot this week. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get these cars to pass each other and things like that,” Hamlin said after climbing from his car Sunday. “Really, aero-tight is a huge, huge deal. The tire is so hard and the surface is new. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when we get to some race tracks with a little more tire wear.
“Really you could drive a whole race on left-side tires. It’s not supposed to be that way.”
Later, during the post-race press conference, Hamlin added more to his previous statement.
“I hate to be Denny downer, but I just didn’t pass that many cars today,” Hamlin said. “That’s the realistic fact of it. You look and we started 40 something, we finished third and you think that we just motored our way through the pack, and that’s just not the case of what happened.”