LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Hamlin says he won’t pay a fine. Denny Hamlin says he won’t pay a $25,000 fine placed upon him by NASCAR this week. Hamlin made the revelations following his remarks at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend.
Hamlin first told news last weekend that he won’t pay a fine if his comments draw league trouble. “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.”
On Thursday, the NASCAR confirmed a $25,000 fine for Hamlin. Hamlin then again reiterated his point. “Trust me, this is not about the money. It’s much deeper.”
NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton told news that league penalties for product slams is commonplace. “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.”
In an official statement, NASCAR said Thursday “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. 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.”
Hamlin’s comments last weekend were about the new Generation 6 car. “I’ll be honest. I’m not going to say anything for the rest of the year, as long as it relates to competition. You can ask me how my daughter is, talk to me after wins about what-have-you, but as long as it relates to competition, I’m out, from here on out. The bad part is that I feel like I’ve been a pretty good spokesman for them, and being positive when things aren’t always positive. They just lost one small spokesman today — that’s all.” He also added “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.”