A handful of NASCAR drivers made headlines this morning in interviews following qualifying. The responses these drivers gave to the NASCAR journalists seem to be a bit salty following a slew of penalties and dirty racing complaints in the garage.
The dirty racing aspect has been a topic of discussion for a couple of years now as drivers continue to get rougher on each other.
You Need To Know:
- Driver etiquette has been a hot topic within the last year or so as many of the older drivers have been very outspoken about their displeasure with the younger crop of drivers. They have complained that the days of polite, yet still hard racing (i.e. the days of Earnhardt, Gordon, and Jaret) are long over.
- This was a popular topic to discuss throughout the 2022 season and has started to boil over going into the still quite young 2023. One of the most obvious examples of this is the whole Denny Hamlin vs. Ross Chastain fiasco. Those two had beat on each other all throughout the 2022 season, the animosity still clearly carrying over into this year’s Clash. After quieting down for a couple of weeks, Denny Hamlin relit the fuse of their rivalry at the spring Pheonix race and then fanned the flames on his podcast, Actions Detrimental, as he admitted his actions were purposeful.
- Fans are split on this issue as it tends to depend on what driver they favor. Many fans don’t like Denny Hamlin so when Ross Chastain makes a, what he would consider a “dirty move”, he gets a bye. However, when Joey Logano rubs up against Kyle Busch, whom by this point has all but shredded his black hat persona, that’s a major problem. Needless to say, both camps aren’t shy about making their opinions known online.
Perhaps one of the most peculiar interviews from Saturday came from Daily Downforce friend, DannyBTalks and his YouTube channel as he and a cluster of other interviewers sought after Denny Hamlin.
Hamlin avoided most of the questioning by stating, rather oddly, “I think you should get your Shingles Vaccination”. Clearly, Hamlin is still quite bitter about the penalties he received on Wednesday and has elected that it would maybe be better to keep quiet. There sure is a bitter taste, it would seem, throughout the Cup Series garage.
The Main Characters
The Old School drivers are very unhappy about how they’re being raced by the newer generation. It’s age-old story that continues to stand the test of time, especially in NASCAR.
The New Generation have their own views on what the racing etiquette should be. Ross Chastain, one of Hamlin’s top rivals, speaks here on what he thinks of Hamlin’s comments on his podcast.
Around The Garage
Kyle Busch is no stranger to run-ins with younger drivers, and it is clear Denny Hamlin isn’t the only pessimist regarding this situation. Here, in a video by DannyBTalks, he states that he believes there is absolutely no sense of respect in the garage area.
Busch states that he has tried to discuss this with the younger drivers several times, but it never does any good. He also says that he has seen it with his own drivers as it “goes in one ear and out the other.” He also proposes the idea of sending someone to the back if they “just runover guys”.
After all, that is what they do to his son Brexton on the short tracks if he gets a little over aggressive.
Black Flags Matter shared this interview with Eric Jones about how he was taught to race with respect.
In The Stands
Connor makes some good points here. There likely are a lot of bitterness felt for Ross within the garage area and how NASCAR worships the chaos he creates.
Connor also adds that, though the chaos can be exciting for newer fans, it’s not the answer to the problem at large.
Ultimate23Dragon states that it has been this way for YEARS. Will it ever change for the better?
Austin Weaver applauds how mature Kyle Busch has gotten. He states that he could be the leader of the garage after Harvick’s retirement.
Timothy points out that Denny must have been coached to give this interview by a certain former teammate.
With Chastain declining to be a guest on Hamlin’s podcast, Alan here says that he doesn’t blame him. It does bring to question, though, if this incident truly is over as both Denny and Ross have seemingly called a truce.
From The Pressbox
Solomon Tucker comments here on just how different the garage feels. It’s clear the younger group has gotten under the skin of the old guard.
Chris Knight breaks that JGR spoke with Hamlin after his podcast. They are firmly in his corner.
With the morale in the garage at an all-time low, only time will tell if things start to improve or if they will continue to climb deeper down into the gutter. At any case, the Daily Downforce is here to give you the latest on this continuously developing story.