Multiple video angles of the post NASCAR race altercation at Martinsville Speedway
On Sunday, NASCAR rolled into the short track of Martinsville Speedway. Drama was likely on the half-mile oval in Martinsville, Virginia. The race was the final elimination race for the NASCAR Playoffs ahead of next week’s championship race at Phoenix.
Denny Hamlin’s day started at the tail of the field. The No. 11 team failed inspection, multiple times and their start spot was removed via the penalty.
From there, Hamlin took his time. He slowly worked through traffic over the course of the 500 lap race. He was so patient in stage one that he nearly went a lap down to Kyle Larson.
By the end of stage two, Hamlin had climbed to 5th. He was back in the battle for a race win.
On lap 388, Hamlin dove to the inside of Martin Truex Jr to take the race lead. But, his battle was far from over.
Denny Hamlin vs Alex Bowman
23 to go, Bowman shoves Hamlin into turn three. Hamlin then doored him to reclaim the spot.
With 15 to go, Alex Bowman was beating on the rear bumper of Hamlin in the battle for the lead. That continued for several laps but Hamlin was able to hold him off.
With 6 laps to go, Bowman dove to the inside of Hamlin and was late to the brakes. Bowman wheel hopped, got loose and chased control of his car. He slid into the door of Hamlin, turning the No. 11 and sending him into the outside wall.
The caution sent the finale into NASCAR Overtime. Bowman was able to hold them off as they raced hard for 2nd behind him.
Post race retaliation
First, Kyle Busch turned left into Brad Keselowski, marking the first post-race contact. But, others weren’t done banging in the fenders.
After the race, Alex Bowman headed to the front stretch for a victory lane interview and donuts. As he got there, Hamlin followed him.
Bowman came to a stop, just ahead of the start/finish line. Hamlin throttled up, pulled ahead of him and Hamlin parked it right in front of Bowman.
Bowman drove around Hamlin’s parked machine and proceeded to do victory burnouts. Hamlin throttled up once more and drove into the nose of Bowman. Hamlin proceeded to do burnouts on the nose of Bowman’s machine.
Fans threw things onto the race track. A water bottle hit Hamlin’s roof.
“Come on now. Big picture here,” Hamlin’s spotter said over the radio.
Hamlin drove away from the scene.
Alex Bowman comments on Denny Hamlin
“I just got loose in,” Bowman stated to NBC Sports after the race.
“I got in too deep, knocked him out of the lead and literally let him have the lead. So, for anybody that wants to think I was trying to crash him, that obviously wasn’t the case considering I literally gave up the lead at Martinsville to give it back to him.”
Bowman was referring to previous contact with Hamlin laps prior.
“He’s been on the other side of that and he’s crashed guys here for wins.”
Bowman was referring to 2017 contact at Martinsville Speedway. Hamlin wheel hopped and knocked Elliott into the wall in the closing laps.
I hate doing it, don’t want to crash somebody. Just got in and got loose underneath him and spun him out.”
“Regardless, we got a grandfather clock. That’s pretty special, I’ve struggled here for a long time.”
Bowman wanted to circle backwards with the flag
“I was trying to get the flag and do a backwards victory lap because Mark Martin thinks that’s cool and Mark Martin’s my hero.”
The incident with Hamlin after the race prevented Bowman from getting the flag at the time.
“Hate that we wrecked the No. 11. The No. 48 has won here a bunch, it’s cool to do it here again.”
“No,” Bowman says of intent to crash Hamlin. “I’m not trying to drive in there and crash the guy. I haven’t run into him. Caught him, got under him fair. I just got sideways under him and spun him out. Hate to do that but that’s part of short track racing.”
“This isn’t Bowman Gray Stadium. This is the Cup Series. As much as we could have made the highlight reel,” Bowman added of post-race contact.
Denny Hamlin comments
“He’s just a hack,” Hamlin said of Bowman after the race.
“An absolute hack. He gets his ass-kicked by his teammates, every week. He’s fucking terrible, he’s just terrible.”
“He sees one opportunity and he takes it. He’s got the fastest car every week and he runs 10th.”
“We had a good clean race there. I moved up as high as I could on the race track to give him all the room and he still can’t drive.”
Hamlin added, “I just wanted to race. He’s just terrible.”