Hamlin won’t fight fineDenny Hamlin said Friday that he believes NASCAR was disrespectful by not contacting him before fining him $25,000 over critical comments about the new race car. Hamlin said a bigger name would have at least gotten a courtesy call beforehand.
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Denny Hamlin said Friday that he believes NASCAR was disrespectful by not contacting him before fining him $25,000 over critical comments about the new race car.
Hamlin said a bigger name would have at least gotten a courtesy call beforehand.
“That was the biggest complaint I had. If I was Jeff Gordon or Tony (Stewart), Dale (Earnhardt) Jr., or any Hendrick driver, they would have had a conversation before,” Hamlin said. “Just to slap the fine on me and not tell me anything is what really, really bugged me. A lot. That felt like I had not earned my place in this sport, and I’ve grinded it out here for eight years and I really feel like I’ve done what it takes to earn the respect of both my peers and NASCAR. I feel like had I been somebody else, the outcome may have been different.”
Hamlin said after being fined he’d appeal the penalty, but announced Thursday on Twitter he would not drag his Joe Gibbs Racing team through the process. Still, he had informed NASCAR officials he would not write a check to cover the fine and was prepared for whatever action the sanctioning body chose to take against him. NASCAR has indicated it will garnish the money from his race winnings.
Kyle Busch sets track record at Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Count Kyle Busch among those who likes NASCAR’s new race car.
Of course, a new track record is bound to draw praise from any driver.
Busch won his first career pole at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday with a lap in his Toyota at 129.535 mph, breaking Ryan Newman’s 10-year-old track record of 128.709.
“This new car, I like driving it because you can drive it like the older car we had years ago where you could just abuse it a little bit and drive it a little harder,” Busch said. “The old car was all about being smooth and precise and this one here, you can make a little bit more speed by trying a little bit harder.”
Busch tried hard enough Friday to shred the mark set by Newman, who had been the first driver to go under 15 seconds when he set the lap record. Busch was one of nine drivers to go under 15 seconds in qualifying and his time of 14.813 is the new record.
Still, he wasn’t sure it would stand. A five-time Bristol winner, Busch had never qualified higher than ninth at the Tennessee bullring.
“We felt we’d have a shot for the pole, but we’ve felt that many times before and we’ve ended up 30th or something,” said the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.