Hamlin won't appeal $25,000 fine
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Denny Hamlin revealed on his Twitter account on Thursday that he will not appeal the $25,000 fine he received one week ago for making derogatory comments about the new Sprint Cup Series car.
Hamlin also noted that he remains firm in his intentions to not pay the fine. His critical remarks about the Gen-6 came after the conclusion of the March 3 Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.
"After a lot of thought I have decided not to appeal the fine NASCAR has issued," he tweeted. "Dragging myself, my team and NASCAR through the mud for the next 2 weeks would not be good for anyone. I firmly believe I am in the right on this issue and will stand behind my decision not to pay. I understand NASCAR will do what they feel is necessary based on my decision. Thanks to all of my fans and peers who have supported me in this decision. I look forward to putting it to rest."
Hamlin notified NASCAR that he is dropping the appeal. Per its rule book, NASCAR will deduct the $25,000 from Hamlin's race winnings. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has collected a total of $653,619 after the first three races this season.
NASCAR issued a statement, saying "The $25,000 fine assessed to driver Denny Hamlin on March 7 will be settled per Section 12-3 of the 2013 NASCAR rule book after being informed by Hamlin that he will not appeal the penalty. Hamlin was fined after the sanctioning body determined he had violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing). NASCAR considers this matter closed."
After his third-place finish at Phoenix, Hamlin was asked what his thoughts were of the Gen-6 following the second race of the season. He responded, "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. The teams hadn't figured out how to get the aero balance right. Right now, you just run single-file, and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. If you would have placed me in 20th-place with 30 (laps) to go, I would have stayed there. I wouldn't have moved up. It's just one of those things where track position is everything."
NASCAR fined Hamlin for that comment, noting he "made some disparaging remarks about the on-track racing that had taken place that afternoon (March 3)." Hamlin was furious when he learned of his penalty and said he was not going to pay the fine. Shortly after, he notified NASCAR in writing that he would appeal the penalty. He continued to voice his opinion on Twitter.
"The short of the long of it is I believe I was severely disrespected by NASCAR by getting fined," Hamlin tweeted. "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."
Bristol Motor Speedway is hosting the fourth Sprint Cup race of the season this weekend. Hamlin won the night race at this track last August.
03/14 22:12:12 ET