|Denny Downer says he won't pay fine|
So let me say it again. It’s too early to panic about the lack of “racing” produced by the new Gen-6 cars after two races.
But NASCAR appears to have done just that, fining Denny Hamlin $25,000 “for action detrimental to stock car racing” on Thursday for stating what was obvious to anyone who watched the Phoenix race. The race saw only 12 lead changes, only half of the number from a year ago, and most of those lead changes took place as a result of caution flags.
“I hate to be Denny downer, but I just didn’t pass that many cars today,” Hamlin said after starting 40th but finishing third thanks to a dramatic last lap pass. “We finished third and you think we just motored our way through the pack, and that’s just not the case of what happened.”
My, my. Isn’t NASCAR getting touchy. If that draws a $25,000 fine, maybe things are worse than we know.
Hamlin says he won’t pay. He shouldn’t. He said he will appeal, but NASCAR will probably end up taking the fine out of a future paycheck. But heck, Hamlin – who is known to like to play in Vegas – probably drops that on a bad night at the tables.
The real problem I see: by fining Hamlin for the mildest of criticisms, NASCAR is hurting its own credibility and simply drawing attention to a problem no one is really calling a problem yet. Now when I read Jimmie Johnson singing the Gen-6 praises I’ve got to wonder; does he really feel that way or is it just Johnson kissing up to NASCAR?
Even worse. Now we have to listen to Darrell Waltrip talk about how great the Gen-6 car is weekend.