Hamlin: I won’t pay NASCAR fine
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LAS VEGAS, Nev.Denny Hamlin said Thursday that he refuses to pay the $25,000 fine that NASCAR assessed him after comments he made regarding the new Generation 6 car last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The car debuted in the Sprint Cup Series this season.
"For what I understand, it’s comparing the Gen-6 car to the Gen-5, comparing the two. I shouldn’t have done that.
"Ultimately, I’m not OK with it. This is the most upset and angry I’ve been in a really, really long time, about anything, anything that relates to NASCAR. You have strong opinions about a lot of things, whether it be Clements’ suspension, things like that. A lot of people hold their tongues, and some people don’t — like Brad.
"The truth is what the truth is, and I don’t believe in this. I’m never going to believe in it. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not going to pay the fine. If they suspend me, they suspend me. I don’t care at this point.
"It’s an opinion, and it’s not even a bad one. I’ve got to be careful, because I don’t want to make things worse than they already are, and this is something that was absolutely nothing that got blown into to something, and it’s just going to be worse for them. So let them deal with it."
Later Thursday, on his Twitter page, Hamlin reiterated his refusal to pay the fine, saying, "Trust me, this is not about the money.. It's much deeper.''
This was NASCAR's position on the matter:
“Following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event last Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, Denny Hamlin made some disparaging remarks about the on-track racing that had taken place that afternoon,” NASCAR said in a statement. “While NASCAR gives its competitors ample leeway in voicing their opinions when it comes to a wide range of aspects about the sport, the sanctioning body will not tolerate publicly made comments by its drivers that denigrate the racing product.”
In a news conference after Hamlin's comments, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton further addressed the penalty.
"We give them quite a bit of latitude," he said. "You can’t slam the racing. You can’t slam the product. That’s where it crosses the line.”
Pemberton said that Hamlin has the right to appeal to the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel. To initiate the process, Hamlin must send notification of the appeal to NASCAR. After that, he can continue to compete until the hearing.
“It's like every other appeal,” Pemberton said. “Over the course of time, you remember mechanics and crew chiefs, whatever, if they appeal, then they can continue to carry on business as usual until the appeal has been heard and ruled on.
“The fines are supposed to be paid as soon as possible but we’re not in any of those windows where it seems to be a problem.”
At Phoenix, Hamlin started from the rear of the field in the race, then moved up to finish third. Afterward, he offered this assessment of the new car, leading to the penalty: ''I don't want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our generation five cars. This is more like what the generation five was at the beginning.''
by wp: As a long time fan of racing I am sadly not a fan of NASCAR. The organization has become so rigid in its rules and regulations program that the true fun of racing is no longer involved. Innovation by crews and mechanics that caused the development of so many advances in the automobile industry are no longer allowed. Nascar builds the car, Nascar sets all the standards and kills off anything new and innovative that Nascar itself has not designed. I, personally would rather go back to the racing before Nascar and its dictatorial attitudes. To mr. Pemberton I say: sig heil ,fuhrer. you act like a despot and talk like a despot what does that make you??? Stand tall,Denny Hamlin. Sometimes you have to stand for whats right and the freedom to express your opinion. Sadly few will.