Denny Hamlin Explains His Side of JJ Yeley Richmond Wreck

Getty Denny Hamlin has explained his side of the JJ Yeley wreck.

Denny Hamlin sent JJ Yeley into the wall early in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway on April 2. Now he has shared his side of the story and some details leading up to the on-track incident.

Hamlin made the comments during the April 3 episode of his “Actions Detrimental” podcast. He said that he didn’t have any reason to wreck Yeley for 30th place and that he wasn’t trying to bring out the caution. Hamlin then said that he made a dramatic blunder.

“What I was trying to do was trying to get right behind him,” Hamlin said. “And then go in the corner and show my left front and kinda get him wedged off of the bottom so I could just take the bottom on him because I couldn’t complete the pass on the outside.

“But really, I went back — I couldn’t realize because it happened so quick — like, ‘What the f*** happened? How did I misjudge this that badly?’ I looked at the data, and I saw that JJ checked up about a hundred feet early and got on the brake quite a bit sooner.”

Hamlin continued and said that he wasn’t trying to place the blame on Yeley. He issued an apology and said that he would contact Rick Ware Racing about how he could help the team recover.

Yeley’s Team Expressed Frustration After the Wreck

GettyJJ Yeley watches qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The incident unfolded after Hamlin received a speeding penalty on pit road during the competition caution. He dropped back to the rear of the field and began trying to work his way back toward the front.

FOX Sports switched to his camera and showed the No. 11 hit Yeley’s No. 15 Ford Mustang from behind. This contact sent the Rick Ware Racing Ford into the wall and caused a significant amount of damage.

Yeley said after the race that he did not expect Hamlin to run over him, and he indicated that the veteran driver was mad about a speeding penalty. Yeley then said that he was the victim of “guys doing what they need.”

“To take his frustrations out on me is disappointing, especially from a veteran who’s been preaching — social media, whatever — the last few weeks — his podcast — of respect,” Yeley told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio after the race.

“So, this is a long race. He’s really good here. And again, he’s a great race car driver, but to just blatantly run me over, disappointing.”

“I knew JJ was going to be super-pissed because when you’re in his position, right, you’re just trying to make laps, make your program better, get a good finish that day,” Hamlin continued. “And all of a sudden, you just get jacked from behind. He never even had a chance to catch the car because I went into him with such a rate of speed.”

The 2 Drivers Will See Each Other Several More Times

GettyDenny Hamlin climbs into the No. 11 Toyota at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

The incident at Richmond Raceway led to Yeley finishing 36th and 17 laps behind the leaders. He will now move forward while making more starts for Rick Ware Racing and trying to turn in some solid performances.

Yeley is not the full-time driver of the No. 15 Ford Mustang. There are multiple that make starts in the second Rick Ware Racing entry throughout the year.

This list of drivers includes Riley Herbst, who takes over the entry for Daytona and Talladega races. Todd Gilliland will also make four more starts in the No. 15 after controlling it at Phoenix Raceway.

Yeley will be back in the entry for the trip to Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt) on Sunday, April 9. This race will provide him with another opportunity to compete with Hamlin, albeit on a significantly different surface. Though there is no expectation that there will continue to be any friction between these two veterans.

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