Denny Hamlin is ready to put the $25,000 fine by NASCAR behind him. The driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry dropped his appeal but believes he won in the court of public opinion.
“The biggest thing is I think that we won in the judge of the people and their opinion I think some of the peers of mine — at least the ones that have a backbone had the nerve to stick up for what they know is right and wrong — agreed.”
While Hamlin initaly planned to appeal, he eventually conceded that appealing the $25,000 fine was not worth the attention.
“And I think that in hindsight I really believe they (NASCAR) overreacted and I believe that they think they overreacted once they thought about it a little bit, but now we’re at a point that we’re good with each other and we’re just going to move on from here.”
That hardly closed the door on this situation though. Hamlin could not help but wonder if things would have been different had he driven for a different team.
“That was the biggest complaint I had was that if I was Jeff Gordon, Tony (Stewart), Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. or any Hendrick (Motorsports) driver — let’s just say that — they would have had a conversation with me before. Just to slap the fine on me and not tell me anything is what really, really bugged me a lot. That felt like I had not earned my place in this sport and I’ve grinded it out here for eight years and I really feel like I’ve done what it takes to earn the respect of both my peers and NASCAR and I felt like if I had been somebody else the outcome may have been different.”