Denny Hamlin is not too pleased about the $25,000 fine imposed by NASCAR on Thursday after he recently made comments criticizing the quality of Gen 6 cars. In fact, Hamlin is so upset that he is vowing not to pay the fine, and doesn't care if his act of rebellion results in a suspension.
"This is the most upset and angry I've been in a long, long time about anything that relates to NASCAR," Hamlin said Thursday after a Gen 6 test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "… The truth is what the truth is. I don't believe in this (fine), I'm never going to believe in this. 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."
The fine stems from comments he made on Sunday after the race in Phoenix when he said the new Generation 6 cars "did not race as good as our Generation 5 cars."
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver believes his comments weren't a big deal.
"This was something that was absolutely nothing and got blown into something, and it's just going to be worse for (NASCAR)," he said. "Let them deal with it."
A NASCAR spokesperson said "fines are supposed to be paid as soon as possible," however, added that Hamlin has a right to appeal the decision. Hamlin will still be allowed to race in the meantime if he does choose to file an appeal.
"Constructive criticism is one thing, but there are different statements people make that are damaging," he said. "We won't tolerate those types of things," said vice president of competition Robin Pemberton.
"I'm not going to say anything for the rest of the year as long as it relates to competition," said Hamlin. "You can ask how my daughter is and talk to me after wins, but as long as it relates to competition, I'm out."
The driver of the No. 11 car was previously fined $50,000 in 2010 for tweets implying that NASCAR issued phantom caution flag.
Via USA TODAY