Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson comment following a tweet that led to sensitivity training
At Talladega Superspeedway, Kyle Larson was going for the race win on the final lap. At the same time, Kurt Busch was going for the same win.
Kurt Busch jumped out of line in a move to the outside. Moments later, Larson also moved out of line in an attempt to catch a bump draft from Busch to push him across the line and by the leading inside car.
However, the block from Larson was too late. Kurt Busch was already to Larson’s right rear. So, they both crashed.
As Kurt Busch bounced off the wall, the field scattered. Busch’s teammate, Bubba Wallace was also collected in the crash. Two 23XI Racing machines were torn up, just a few hundred feet from the finish line.
A day after the race, Hamlin posted a video meme relating to the incident. The clip was from the Family Guy tv show where a female Asian driver was cutting through traffic.
The audio from the clip, “How much signal I need to cut across 8 lanes? None? I turn now. Good luck everybody else.”
Kyle Larson is Asian. However, Hamlin himself didn’t piece that part of the puzzle together until after the tweet was posted. It was deleted just a few hours later and followed by an apology.
NASCAR required Hamlin to begin sensitivity training before the race weekend at Dover.
Denny Hamlin comments
“Most of it was positive. My reaction to the negative is that they just didn’t understand what I was doing there, just placing a joke,” Denny Hamlin told Bob Pockrass.
For the joke, Hamlin was required to attend sensitivity training, before the end of the week.
“I respect their decision, I understand where they’re at with it. I’ve done my own sensitivity training, I did it on my own when I started this race team. Went with the best in the country and spent time with them.”
“I understand it all. I just didn’t think this fell into that category.”
Hamlin is friends with Kyle Larson.
“Yeah, we’ve talked. But, I’ll keep those conversations private.”
“I saw the correlation in the driving. That was it. I didn’t even think twice about the other [Asian] part, which is the insensitive part.”
“Someone gave it to me. I thought it was hilarious. Also, is insensitive. I understand how some people could find it offensive. If it’s one then it’s one too many.”
Hamlin is one of the more vocal drivers on twitter. Will this incident change that?
“It’s certainly discouraging from that aspect. But, I’ll always continue to be me. It’s not always going to be the most popular thing. But, I am who I am.”
“I always want to be a better person. A better dad, team owner, driver. I always drive to try to be better. That’s why I did this more extensive training, on my own, years ago.”
Hamlin concluded, “It just worked out the way it did. Certainly, I put myself in a bad spot.”
Kyle Larson comments
“I think that NASCAR did what they have to do,” Larson stated.
“I appreciate Denny going through the steps to learn from that. Obviously, it’s just poor judgement, on his part.”
“Being in the position that we’re in. You have to be very careful with what you put out to the public.”
“I know he’ll learn a lot over these next couple weeks. I think we’re all ready to move past it.”
Off the track, Larson and Hamlin are good friends.
“I wasn’t personally offended by it, you know, because he is my friend. But, I know and I think he knows now how there’s millions of other people who a tweet like that could offend.”
“No hard feelings from me. After you put something out there, you realize how offensive it can be.”