Corey LaJoie said Denny Hamlin texted the No. 32 team owner and stated he would wreck LaJoie; NASCAR officials called them into a meeting; Hamlin said it’s not true
This feud goes all the way back to the iRacing days. Week after week, it’s slowly escalated into real-world threats (per Corey LaJoie).
Hamlin has stated that threats were never issued. While, LaJoie stated that NASCAR officials got involved.
Corey LaJoie hosts a podcast on MRN titled ‘Sunday Money’ and he went over the entire thing from his perspective.
Corey Lajoie details the feud with Denny Hamlin
Talladega + Dover + North Wilkesboro: iRacing
April: “He subtweets on my stuff, ‘We’ve been hearing about how much your cars suck, now’s your time to prove it on iRacing.’ I finished second at Talladega. I don’t like iRacing, but I jump on and do it just strictly because he called me out,” LaJoie stated.
April 26 (Talladega): “Finished second (at iRacing Talladega). I respond to that tweet, pull it back up with the eyes little emoji. He says, ‘Well, Talladega is not really the real thing. Do a race where it really matters.’ “
May 3 (Dover): “Go to Dover, qualify fifth, messed up everybody’s Draft Kings lineup because I wanted to show him I’m capable of qualifying good. Started in the back because of the invert, wrecked.”
May 9: (North Wilkesboro): “Go to North Wilkesboro. … Was going to finish in the top three there, my brake pedal broke. So that’s the end of the iRacing saga. No more Dennis Hamlin (LaJoie calls him Dennis) anywhere to be found.”
At this point, NASCAR is into real world racing. Several weeks have gone by with NASCAR hosting races at Darlington and Charlotte. But, the feud continues…
June 7 (Atlanta): “Race at Atlanta. Drive around, finish 27th all day. I post my loop heart rate data and it’s fairly high.”
NASCAR doesn’t typically race Atlanta in June, the postponements pushed the event further into the heat wave. After the Atlanta race, multiple NASCAR drivers were visually struggling given the heat. Bubba Wallace even passed out, twice.
“He (Hamlin) subtweets on it, ‘this is why we couldn’t count on you in the fourth quarter,’ talking about his basketball league, with his heart rate, which was super not consistent … but it was lower than mine. So he’s making a joke about my competitive nature as well as my fitness level.”
Denny Hamlin hosts a basketball league at his home. It features many of the stars from NASCAR.
“So then I say, ‘Hey, can we trade cars?’” LaJoie continued. “He assumed I’m just (expletive) on his driving abilities every time I respond to him. Goes back and forth and says I’m a shit driver more or less and it dies.
June 10 (Martinsville): “We go to Martinsville, which is a driver’s race track. The 32 car finishes six positions in front of him.”
LaJoie finished 18th in the event. All the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota’s struggled in the event. With the exception of Martin Truex Jr, who won the race.
“Now the floodgates open, right? Because all of a sudden three days ago Denny was talking about how the driver makes the difference, it’s not the car. We go to a track where the drivers make a difference and I finish in front of him, when his teammate wins the race.”
“We don’t even go back and forth (on Twitter). I did some passive aggressive stuff, right? Kermit the Frog drinking the tea and the fans are just piling it on, ‘Denny, you suck,’ this, that and the other, which I never said any of this. Not once. Turned around and I acknowledged, I only had three days left to live this up.”
“We’re going to go to Homestead and I’m going to get my (expletive) kicked in. I already knew it, called it Wednesday night.”
June 14 (Homestead): “The only personal thing I’ve said to him in this whole ordeal was the one thing about ‘Yeah, he’s probably going to win at Homestead because there’s no pressure on the line.’ Probably a shit thing to say, but look what happened, he ended up winning,” LaJoie added.
“He texts me on Friday night, ‘Congrats on getting your car crashed.’ Talking about how he’s going to wreck me on Sunday.”
“It’s premeditated threat, right? This is at like 11:30 at night, proceeded to text my car owner (Archie St. Hilaire owns Go Fass Racing), Mason, the general manager, as well as my crew chief (Ryan Sparks), and says ‘Congrats on getting your stuff crashed, your driver’s going to learn a hard lesson.’ “
“So my owner is like, ‘Hey, this is not how this is going to work, because this is a $300,000 race car, for something that was just a Twitter beef that he started.’ Sends the stuff to O’Donnell.”
Meeting with NASCAR officials
Steve O’Donnell is a NASCAR EVP and chief racing development officer for the sport.
“O’Donnell is like, ‘Ok, if you’re going to wreck a guy don’t just pre-meditate it because we already suspended Matt Kenseth for two races for wrecking Joey Logano on purpose. Now something’s actually premeditated, so we’re going to have to hit it even harder, right? So do what you got to do.’ “
“So this thing’s gone from just a little Twitter beef to an actual, he’s like threatening me. Now my owner will be mad at me if he wrecks me, because at the end of the day I’m the one driving it. It’s his money getting burned up. … Jay Fabian, series director, texts us a pit location. It’s 2 o’clock. I’m there, it’s 10 minutes early. He (Hamlin) gets there about 2:08, a little late. We go over to a motorhome and we sit down.”
“There was some ‘F you’s’ back and forth, pretty tense at the beginning. He just felt I was attacking his driving ability the whole time. If I didn’t remind him seven times that he started this and kept subtweeting on my stuff, I didn’t do it once.”
“He went from, ‘It wasn’t about you, you keep making it about your equipment.’ I said, ‘Dennis, you literally said you, the word y-o-u, nine times in the first six tweets to me, so of course it’s about me.’ “
“‘Don’t say it’s not about me. Don’t say that it’s about you having established the difference between an elite driver and another driver. That’s never what it was about. Then he wanted to kind of backtrack and say ‘It was only because I liked you was why I was messing with you, I don’t mess with guys I don’t like.’ “
“I was like, ‘You don’t say the shit that you did, nor text everybody in my team that you were going to crash me if you like me.’ At the end of the day, they told him, ‘If you’re going to premeditate your decision on crashing this guy, we don’t have any choice, because we already have the evidence that you’re going to do it.’ He kind of softened his stance on that.”
“We spoke through it like men, I told him what I was taking offense to and there was some things he took offense to, that weren’t even contextually accurate because if he goes back and reads what I said, I never made any sort of jabs at his ability, nor his character. He just assumed that I did. He thinks everything’s about him.”
“I defused it enough to where he didn’t just completely trash my shit on Sunday afternoon and he ended up winning the race.”
Denny Hamlin on Corey LaJoie
Denny Hamlin was asked about the confusing feud between the two drivers after his win at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I understand his stance and he understands mine,” Hamlin stated.
“Mine was to win the races I’ve won, I didn’t have the best car every time. I still have to go out and beat probably some of the best drivers in history that drive for Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart‑Haas and Penske.
“No one gave me anything. My parents had nothing, like nothing nothing. I got here the old‑fashioned way. Any time you feel like anyone says, ‘Hey, if I had what you had, I could do that,’ it’s offensive. It’s a little offensive because you know personally how hard you worked to get there.
“I took offense to it. He took offense to the things that I said. I understand it was a miss ‑‑ just kind of two guys that were talking about some sensitive subjects. I think we’re okay now,” Hamlin concluded.
On Thursday, Corey LaJoie issued a lengthy apology.
“What started as me standing up for myself has escalated to a poijnt it shouldn’t have reached,” Corey LaJoie stated in a note posted to twitter.
“Public exchanges got more personal and private matter made public. I got consumed by the opinions of fans as was as other competitors to fight a fight that was something more than mine.”
He added, “I want to hold myself to a higher level of character and integrity than what I’ve personally displayed through it. I apologize for some of the things I’ve said towards Denny that were fueled by emotion and continue to recognize his exceptional ability to wheel a race car.”
“There have been no lies spoken but some things are better left unsaid. I’ll always be a competitive person who sticks up for what I believe in but I never want my platform to be one that provokes or spreads negativity.”
“I appreciate all of the fans support and it’s awesome to know they have my back. Like Eric Church says, ‘Everybody sins and nobody wins in a fight.’ “
“I wish Denny Hamlin and the 11 team good luck. I’m done with the distractions, I’m ready to focus on racing and leave this in the weeds,” LaJoie concluded.