Denny Hamlin added more comments mid-week: “If you want to bend rules, let’s just go ahead and bend them all.”
Last weekend, NASCAR raced at Texas Motor Speedway. The weekend concluded with the All-Star race, paying $1,000,000 to the race winner.
On Tuesday, both Denny Hamlin and NASCAR issued new comments regarding the controversial finish.
Ryan Blaney was cruising to victory as the race came to an end. He took the white flag, leading by 3 seconds. He was about 300 feet from the finish line as Ricky Stenhouse Jr brushed the wall in turn two. NASCAR elected to throw the caution.
Per the rules, the leader didn’t cross the finish line before the yellow, bringing a restart. However, Blaney thought he won and the race was over, so he put down his window net.
It’s impossible to re-attach the window net from inside the car. He tried for multiple laps but failed to latch it. He eventually unhooked the back portion of the net and which gave enough room to latch it in the front. However, the back half of the net clearly wasn’t secure.
Denny Hamlin irked NASCAR didn’t black flag All-Star winner Ryan Blaney
Denny Hamlin comments
Denny Hamlin added via the Dale Jr Download, “They tried to make a wrong, right, by doing another wrong. That’s just screwed up. I felt like they tried to lie to us and say, ‘Oh, the window net was up and he was steering the car.’ Horseshit! I was right there. You can see it’s not up.”
“You own one, then you completely try to cover up the second (mistake).”
“If they were going to bend the rules, just let him come in and fast it. There’s no reason we should ever be letting a driver out there with no window net up. Especially, we’re about to race for a win, on a green-white-checkered. The probability of us crashing was pretty high considering we were racing for an All-Star win.”
“He’s the leader and you know his window net is not secure. My crew is gone for four weeks because we had a tire rolling down pit lane, because it’s a safety issue. I’m like, ‘Who are they suspending up in the tower?’ Because they need to be gone for four weeks as well.”
Denny Hamlin comments on the cost of the NASCAR charter for 23XI Racing
NASCAR hasn’t reached out to Hamlin
Denny Hamlin noted that NASCAR hasn’t reached out to him since the race.
No. They can. But, they know I’m going to go off. We have those conversations, about things.”
Hamlin has not regrets.
“No. Because you cannot say safety’s first when you deliberately let someone out there in an unsafe situation. Bring him in, let him put the damn thing up and then give him his spot back. If you want to bend rules, lets just go ahead and bend them all.”
“Man they put themselves in some tough spots. I hate it for our series that we are talking every 12 weeks about something that’s a blown call. We just gotta get better.”
Ryan Blaney reacts to Denny Hamlin’s comments; Controversial $1M race
Fixing the All-Star Race
Hamlin was asked what he would do to change the All-Star race.
“We’ve deluded our sport so much that it’s hard to consider anything special anymore.”
“Just FYI, for the race teams, that week pays less than a normal weekly race. I’m going to estimate half of it,” Hamlin said of how much of the $1,000,000 Blaney takes home.
“I can tell you this, in The Clash, both cars took home combined $90,000. We did $60,000 in damage. The drivers took most of the winnings, we were negative, like you wouldn’t believe. It was bad.”
“The All-Star is not much different. The All-Star is less. Today, the purse is $2.7 million. It was $1 million when they started this. The TV money is going up, where’s it going? Someone’s got it.”
“It’s fixable,” Hamlin said of the All-Star event. “I Just don’t know what. A short track or something. You don’t have to have 1/3 of the field out there.”
Marcus Smith: “Nobody likes change and nobody likes things to stay the same.”
Elton Sawyer comments
“What happened on Sunday night with the late caution, that is on us,” Elton Sawyer said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “That is on the sanctioning body. We made the decision. We own it.
“We’re going to put additional provisionals in place this week where those things don’t happen. I want our fans to be assured that when we get into Charlotte we have addressed this. We’re going to make sure those things don’t happen again, and we’re going to be better for it.”
The race director makes that call with help from officials in multiple areas of the track.
“The race director is filtering through that information to ultimately make the decision,” Sawyer said. “As we go forward, what we’re looking at is how do we get more voices involved in that process there to make sure it is not just one person having to say, bam, put it out.”
Changing the NASCAR All-Star Rules?
The All-Star Race has a unique rule that the race can’t end under caution. In every other race, if the race leader takes the white flag, the next flag ends the race. For the All-Star race, a yellow on the final lap forces another restart. That could change.
“Those conversations have already started. We’ve had multiple conversations from the time we dropped the checkered flag on Sunday night to yesterday to even this morning. We’ll continue to have this dialogue.”
“I think we will go back and revisit that to make sure that we are basically in a position to execute the weekend at a high level. When you only do it once or twice a year that becomes more difficult.”
NASCAR All-Star Race Results: May 22, 2022 (Texas Motor Speedway)