Retired NASCAR driver and legend of the sport, Dale Earnhardt Jr., has spoken out on the drama that occurred on the track between racers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson at Pocono Raceway. Like most fans who watched, he also agrees that what Hamlin did by causing Larson to wreck was crossing a line.
The controversy that started this all occurred when Hamlin, the driver of the No. 11 car, made an aggressive move to overtake Kyle Larson, which ended up helping him win the race. This move was not well received by some, including Earnhardt Jr., who labeled the move as “dirty.”
“Denny gets position in the middle of the corner. Larson missed the corner, didn’t get through the corner as well. Denny gets wheel-to-wheel mid corner,” Earnhardt stated on a recent episode of his “Dale Jr. Download” podcast. “He makes a decision in that moment to throttle up and drive up the racetrack and door the hell out of the No. 5. There’s contact, he’s coming up the track.
“I agree that it was a dirty move to door him. To throttle up and door him, but it’s for the win. It’s not how you would expect friends to race friends.”
Kyle Larson also believes that Hamlin made contact with his car, causing it to veer upwards on the track. Hamlin, however, denies any contact took place, asserting there was no damage on his car and that he did not feel any impact.
“He did hit me,” Larson asserted on his “Actions Detrimental” podcast on Monday. “I know he says he didn’t, but the replays clearly show he makes contact with me. And then my car shoots up the racetrack.
"Both guys wrecked themselves."
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 23, 2023
“I still contest we did not touch. I know it looks like it, but there’s not a ding on the car, not a scratch — nowhere on the right side,” Hamlin continued. “If there was contact, I certainly didn’t feel it.”
The ultimate decision from NASCAR’s senior VP, Elton Sawyer, seems to indicate, for now, no formal action will be taken.
What’s your take on the whole situation? Do you agree with Earnhardt Jr.’s take? Let us know in the comments below and across social media.