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Hamlin fumes over $25,000 fine for Gen 6 remarks

"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," he continued. "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."

Other drivers were being careful not to get caught up in the row, although Richard Childress Racing star Jeff Burton commented that "NASCAR has got to be careful not to be too strict on drivers" and suggested that the fine was "a little bit of an overreaction on NASCAR's part."

After topping the Thursday practice times in Las Vegas, Greg Biffle found a more arch way of communicating his view on the Hamlin fine when asked for his view on the Generation 6 car's handling earlier in the day.

"It's good. Car is good. Everything is very, very good," he said. "Can I leave now? I'm going to go be happy and good."

Those outside the immediate NASCAR sphere of influence could afford to be more outspoken about the situation.

"Just because it's NASCAR's ball and their ballpark and they make the rules doesn't necessarily mean that there can be censorship, and there appears to be a lot of censorship in this fine," said Kyle Petty, the former Cup driver and now analyst for the SPEED cable channel. "NASCAR wants drivers to have personalities and character and to express themselves but only if they say positive and not negative things. I don't know anyone who can do that.

"It's hard to believe that this sport has come to this where we fine drivers for comments," he added. "Whatever happened to fining drivers for big motors and illegal bodies and cheating on the track? Now it appears they don't have a right to have an opinion off the race track.

"I could not survive in this sport as a driver at this time," Petty admitted. "I'd be paying a fine every week. I'd be broke."

After winning the Phoenix race, Carl Edwards had also expressed frustration with the current state of the cars, but framed his comments in a way that was apparently more constructive than Hamlin had in NASCAR's eyes.

"After the Vegas race you are going to have all of the opinions you want on that subject because that's gonna be the first race where we see huge speeds, huge reliance on downforce, and I think that we're really gonna know where we stand after that," the Phoenix race winner had said in a teleconference on Wednesday.

"Whenever this subject has come up with NASCAR, with the media, with my team, I am 100 percent for taking all of the downforce away from the race cars and just racing mechanical grip and if you have maybe a couple of stagger options for the tires to help gauge your balance, and that would be something Goodyear would have to produce, that's been my take forever just because I really enjoy the mechanical grip aspect of the racing," he had explained.

"At all of this testing NASCAR has run cars with tons of downforce then a little bit of downforce and this is the package they came up with, so what our job to do as drivers and teams is to go out and tune these cars the best we can and see how they work," he continued. "NASCAR told us after Vegas and a couple of these fast races early in the season, we would kind of take a look at where we stand and there still might be more changes coming, so I think it's a moving target and it will really be up to all of us to decide what we want."



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Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition, speaks with the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota stands in the garage area during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, climbs into his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, speaks during a press conference prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, climbs out of his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, talks to his crew chief, Paul Wolfe, after failing to advance to the championship round of the Chase for the Spring Cup after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/ Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, speaks to the media during a press conference after failing to advance to race for the championship in the season finale after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/ Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finished in 11th place Sunday, November 9, 2014 in the final Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Newman advances to the Championship 4 finale next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida.(Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place Sunday, November 9, 2014 in the final Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Gordon just missed out being in the Championship 4 finale next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, races to victory November 9, 2014 in the final Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Harvick advances to the Championship 4 finale next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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ottawanker - Unregistered

March 08, 2013 3:28 PM

I think NASCAR would be happier if their were no drivers in the sport... Then they could just sell 3 hours of ads, not have to bother showing any racing or bother trying to control their drivers. Pure profit.



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