NASCAR team owners comment on post-race altercation between Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman
On Sunday, the half-mile short track brought the post-race drama. Martinsville Speedway hosted the playoff eliminations final ahead of this week’s championship race.
Hear from the NASCAR team owners below.
In the closing laps, Hamlin led with Bowman all over his bumper. Bowman dove to the inside, missed the bottom, got loose and ran into the left rear of Hamlin’s machine.
Hamlin tagged the outside wall. Bowman drove to victory lane.
After the race, Hamlin met with Bowman on the frontstretch to show displeasure with the move. Hamlin lined up nose to nose with Bowman and did a burnout of his own while holding up double middle fingers out of the front window, directed at Bowman.
Joe Gibbs comments
“I kinda let the drivers handle everything on the race track,” Joe Gibbs stated via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“They’re the ones that has to have a racing relationship with everybody else that’s out there. Matter of fact, I try to encourage them, if there’s anything that happens on the race track, that you don’t like, immediately go to their motorhome. Talk it out, right now. Don’t let things fester.”
“Having said that, a lot of the times, they don’t do that. As a consequence, you kinda build up the competitive part. And, everybody kinda knows, certain drivers have a thing about other drivers. That’s part of what makes our sport interesting to watch.”
“So, everything that took place at Martinsville, Denny was really frustrated. That was the second race of the year, he felt like he had a chance to win in the closing laps and got hit.”
“So, that’s just part of frustration and people being upset with each other. There’s so much on the line. You’ve raced all year and you’ve gone 37 weekends. To have have all that riding, then have somebody else make a mistake or at least cost you the race. You can see people being upset.”
“You hope that they handle it the right way.”
“I’ve had conversations at times, with our drivers. Particularly, sometimes, it’s between two of your drivers, that’s happened too. It’s a relationship thing. There’s times where you might step in there. But, the general overriding principle for me is, let the drivers handle it.”
Rick Hendrick comments
After the race, Hamlin called Bowman a “Hack” noting that Hendrick Motorsports has the fastest cars every week but Bowman runs 10th. However, Martinsville was his 4th win of the season.
“Describe a hack. I don’t know what a hack is,” Hendrick said.
“But you know, he’s won four races this year. Denny’s won two. I think Denny just lost it Sunday and, you know, Alex races everybody clean. He’s a good soldier, the sponsors love him, the crowd loves him.”
“I think when you’re in the middle of a disappointment and you’re frustrated and mad, you might say things that you wouldn’t say normally. But if he’s a hack I’d like to have more of them.”