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Hamlin gives in over penalty fine appeal

“In hindsight, I really believe they overreacted, and I believe they think they overreacted once they thought about it a little bit," Hamlin added. "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," he continued, his seething frustration over the situation still clearly evident.

But in the end, Hamlin didn't want the row hanging over his 2013 season and distracting him and his team from their championship campaign.

"What was the point in going another week or so?” Hamlin shrugged. “We've got bigger to fish to fry than to argue over what I said just for $25,000. It's better to move on and let NASCAR get its credibility back. They're going to do that, and I'm going to move on."

Clements back after suspension

NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements will be back on the starting grid this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, after being suspended over using a racial epithet in an interview with a reporter at Daytona International Speedway.

Clements had to complete a session of racial insensitivity counselling with Dr. Richard Lapchick, the director of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, before being eligible for reinstatement.

"We're pleased that Jeremy has taken these important steps and will return to racing starting this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway," said NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations Steve O'Donnell.

Clements was suspended under NASCAR rules prohibiting any 'public statement' that criticises, ridicules or otherwise disparages another person based on race, colour, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age or handicapping condition.

“I want to start out by saying I made a remark that has no place in our society, kidding or not," said Clements on Friday. "I want to apologise to NASCAR, the reporter, my team, my family, my sponsors and of course all the fans out there. I didn't mean to offend anybody at all. I'm sorry I let you all down.

"It has been a challenging time for me," he added. "I want to grow from it and help other people from it. Any time a race car driver gets sat out any amount of time it is the worst thing that can happen to anybody. I don't want to watch anybody drive your car when you are supposed to be in it driving."

Clements did lose one sponsor from the family-owner #51 car as a result of the controversy and suspension.




Related Pictures

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Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin drivers for Joe Gibbs Racing speak to the media during the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour on January 24, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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)
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Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, walks down pit road during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 15, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses with his team in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, races Casey Mears, driver of the #13 GEICO Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Bob - Unregistered

March 25, 2013 6:02 AM

Take Joey out of the car and fine him. Denny gave him plenty of room and even all announcers agree Joeys' in-experience looking anyway for a win slid up into the 11 I say Joey doesn't finish Martinsville and it won't be the 11 who does it. From inside sources it will happen.



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