Denny Hamlin was fined by NASCAR for comments he made after last Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway. Shortly after the announcement, Hamlin spoke up and said he was not paying the fine.
Hamlin released the following statement on his Twitter Thursday evening, regarding his feelings towards NASCAR and the fine they assessed him.
“The short of the long of it is I believe I was severely disrespected by NASCAR by getting fined. I believe that the simple fact of us not even having a conversation about this issue before I was hit with a fine has something to say about our relationship. What I said was 1 sentence taken completely out of context. Most drivers will tell you that we constantly have our AND nascars best interest in mind when speaking. On the other hand I am a person that worked very hard from the BOTTOM to get where I am today and someone telling me that I can give my 100 percent honest opinion really bothers me. Since being fined in 2010 I have been a lot more careful about what I say to media and I felt this past weekend felt completely in my rights to give a assessment of the question asked. I feel as if today NASCAR lost one of its biggest supporters vocally of where our sport is headed. So in the end there are no winners. I said today I would not pay the fine. I stand by that and will go through the process of appealing. Trust me, this is not about the money.. It’s much deeper. I will now shift my focus on giving FedEx and my team what they deserve this weekend, a win.”
The saga continues, many fans and drivers agree with Hamlin. Fans even created the hashtag #StandWithDenny to show their support for the driver.
Has NASCAR intruded on freedom of speech or are they just doing their job trying to protect the sport and the new Gen 6 car?