Denny Hamlin: The Roval, the restrictor plate, speeding penalties

The Roval was built at Charlotte Motor Speedway to ‘save’ the race track – Though, the driver is ‘skeptical’ on NASCAR’s newest track

They’re exploring in bold ways at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s one of many tracks on the NASCAR schedule that have seen a steep decline in attendance in recent years.

For 2018, they introduced a restrictor plate for the All-Star race. That was well-received by the fans. Beyond the oval, they’ve also built a brand new 2.4-mile road course that features 18 turns. The sanction then took that road course oval and stuck it in the NASCAR playoffs.

There’s 3 stops at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2018. Two of them have just been complete. With one left, fans will see 3 entirely different races each time they enter the speedway gates this year.

There was a push from Marcus Smith to bring the All-Star package to the Coca-Cola 600. However, the Coca-Cola 600 has much longer stages.

How different would the Coca-Cola 600 be with the restrictor plate package?

“It probably would have looked a lot like last week. Cars bunched up and things like that,” Denny Hamlin stated from the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center after his 3rd place run.

“We’re not going to be running this oval until next year. The Roval, I think was kinda meant to save the race track and things like that.”

“But, I’m a bit of a sceptic. Hopefully, we put on a good race. I’m a sceptic right now.”

Hamlin started on the front row multiple times in the Coca-Cola 600. Each time, Kyle Busch would choose the high side of the race track and check out off turn 2.

“I had my opportunities. I started 2nd like 5 times or something like that. I just didn’t have the speed that the #18 did. There was one time off pit road, he must have beat me by 2 inches.”

“That was a crucial moment. I don’t know if we would have gained speed by being out front, most likely. From what I saw, they just had an exception car that was a little better than us.”

“I don’t think that we could’ve done anything.”

A few weeks back, Denny Hamlin was overly criticized for speeding penalties. There are other drivers with more penalties. Hamlin just happened to have a string of them in a row. Such as the two at Talladega Superspedway.

Was this your cleanest race this year?

“No. Me and the #48 were tangled and I had to go to the back for that. No, I did not have any speeding penalties. So, it was all good.”

“I knew it was important. This race pays more points. You can’t have those mistakes on pit road. If you want to maximize a points day, you can’t really have those penalties.”

“I error’d on the low side going down pit road. I was very aware of it. But, we haven’t had any in over a month now.”


Related: 2017 NASCAR speeding penalties chart

Related: Coca-Cola 600 results

Related: NASCAR drivers tell Kenseth: The Roval will be a ‘disaster’

Related: NASCAR drivers test The Roval


Denny Hamlin | Charlotte Motor Speedway | NASCAR