Hamlin didn’t like the pit road penalty; NASCAR EVP responds; Hamlin rebuttals
On Sunday, Denny Hamlin was hit with an uncontrolled tire penalty. After winning stage 1 at Chicagoland Speedway, Hamlin was only able to salvage a 15th place finish.
The rule is that the tire needs to remain within an arms distance of the person controlling it. At the same time, the tire needs to be rolling in the same direction of the crew member.
“Ruined our day. And for what? A nickel and dime judgment call? This intent is not why this rule was put into place. Let’s go back to using common sense,” Denny Hamlin said of the penalty.
NASCAR executive responds to Hamlin’s comments
On Monday, the Chief Racing Development Officer addressed Hamlin’s reaction to the call.
“Well, you can’t judge intent,” O’Donnell said. “If a part breaks or anything in the car, if we had to judge intent really on almost any penalty, we’d be in trouble.”
“That’s why we have a rule book and it’s black and white and we’ve been through those things. It’s in place for safety reasons. We’ve been consistent on those calls all year.”
“I think we’re looking at some things around the new car that we can do down the road. We certainly don’t want to be in the rules business or too many rules. But on that case it’s one where we’ve got to make that call.”
This has been an issue since the team roster rules were introduced. Those reduced the over the wall members to just four plus a fuel man.
Hamlin was informed of this response. He then took to twitter to rebut the defense.
“That’s true,” Hamlin responded the the comments from the EVP. “However a tire sitting in place right next to a changer is not uncontrolled.”
“If it’s a real safety issue then let’s get back the 40 guys we laid off who used to carry these tires in a “controlled” manner,” Hamlin concluded.
The uncontrolled tire only got the ball rolling on the horrible day for the #11 team. Later on in the race, they were handed a second penalty for too many men over the wall.