Denny Hamlin is in his fourth season in the Sprint Cup Series. Every year, he has made the Chase. Now Hamlin is starting to speak like a man of his stature, even if some other drivers don’t want to hear it.
Hamlin used his Twitter account to express some frustration over Jeff Gordon. Yes, Twitter is how men express themselves in 2009. Per Hamlin’s Twitter:
"Jeff G (Gordon) told NASCAR we shouldn’t be bump drafting … Cuz they never did in the past. Who’s running this sport?"
Surprise, surprise, the tweet blew up in the racing blogosphere. Hamlin went back to Twitter to clarify, but not back down.
"Don’t get it twisted. i respect JG.. Times are changing though. Everyones voice should be heard not just guys that have been here the longest.”
A quick side note, many PR types hate Twitter because it allows their clients to instantly express their opinions, especially those opinions that are idiotic. What’s interesting about this discussion is what Hamlin told a reporter from FOX after he had a chance to (theoretically) cool down and say the mushy non-controversial comments drivers usually make after firing from the hip.
"Here’s the thing, Jeff made comments earlier to me that his car wouldn’t push very well. Of course, he wanted to get rid of that rule because it took away some of the advantage that the other guys had. Jeff, at times, looks out for himself. But I know he has the best interest of the sport at hand."
Wow. And now for the double-wow.
"It’s just frustrating that a driver has enough power to change how the whole field has to run," Hamlin said. "I think it should be a little broader group. I think it was a knee-jerk reaction by NASCAR wanting to please Jeff.”
Gordon hasn’t responded yet to Hamlin’s comments, but has previously said NASCAR’s open-door policy gives drivers more input now than in past seasons. I’d like “Mushy non-controversial comments drivers usually make” for $1,000, Alex.
This is at least the third time this year Hamlin has gone, well Hamlin, I guess, on a driver. Even Jimmie Johnson wasn’t immune before Martinsville. Again from the good people at FOX.
"If I’m in the same situation, I definitely will have that in the back of my mind and probably will do the same to him," Hamlin said. "There’s been a couple of instances at the end of races – Loudon, New Hampshire (and) Chicago – where I nudged Jimmie out of the way with a few laps to go to get a position, but it’s never really been for a race win."
Hamlin questions Gordon’s motives on bump drafting (FOX)