Denny Hamlin Delivers a Message About 1-Race Suspension

Getty Denny Hamlin (right) has weighed in about Bubba Wallace's suspension.

Bubba Wallace received a one-race suspension after intentionally wrecking Kyle Larson at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He will return to the No. 45 Toyota Camry at Martinsville, but Denny Hamlin knows that there is a lot of work to do.

Hamlin met with NASCAR media members at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 22, and he discussed Wallace’s on-track actions and the subsequent suspension. He explained that he understands why his driver was angry with Larson, but he also knows that this wreck will hurt Wallace’s reputation amid what has been a career season.

“I think what was a shame is that he’s made some huge strides since Nashville and as a driver, and he’s a perennial, top 10 running guy now,” Hamlin explained. “And it’s a shame because people aren’t going to focus on how much better of a driver he’s gotten through the year. They’re going to focus on this one incident, this one millisecond in time that he made a bad decision. And so it’ll just take some time for him to mature and change that narrative.”


Hamlin & 23XI Racing ‘Handled the Matter’

Denny Hamlin

GettyDenny Hamlin took further steps regarding Bubba Wallace.

NASCAR announced the one-race suspension with its weekly penalty report. The sanctioning body said that the driver of the No. 45 Toyota Camry had violated Sections 4.3A, 4.4C&E of the NASCAR Rule Book that cover the member code of conduct.

The only penalty issued to Wallace was the suspension. There were no fines or the loss of any points. However, Hamlin revealed during his media availability that the team also handled the matter. He wouldn’t provide any further details other than saying that they “handled things internally above and beyond” what NASCAR did.

“I don’t think there will end up being any other fallout,” Hamlin said. “We deal with it internally above and beyond NASCAR. So he understands where I stand, where the team stands, the values that we want to present on the racetrack. And he just didn’t represent that well last week. But in the grand scheme of things, we’re very happy with his progress. And he knows he’s still got some stuff to work on when he gets out of his car.”


Hamlin Wants More Information From NASCAR

Denny Hamlin

GettyDenny Hamlin (right) wants some information about penalties.

Hamlin made it very clear that he has no issues with the one-race suspension. He said that 23XI Racing supports the decision and that Wallace will learn. Though Hamlin also explained that he wants more information from NASCAR.

“I certainly think they drew a line in the sand as far as retaliation,” Hamlin said. “I think we’ll talk to them more about how can they really make it defined? We’ve seen this in short-track racing, I think we saw this in Trucks at IRP.

“We’ve seen this before, but is it the speed? Is it the track? Like what is the determining factor? Is it because the crash looked real bad? It’s just kind of different scenarios, but I certainly… when I got the call on it, I kind of expected it.”

The incident at IRP took place during the Truck Series playoff opener. Carson Hocevar intentionally hooked Colby Howard into the wall. This brought out the caution, but NASCAR did not penalize the driver of the No. 42 for his intentional wreck.

Similarly, Noah Gragson intentionally wrecked Sage Karam at Road America and kicked off an incident that collected more than a dozen drivers. He did not receive a suspension. Instead, NASCAR fined him $35,000 and docked him 30 points.

Conversations about NASCAR’s decisions took place once again after Wallace hooked Larson into the wall at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. They should only continue as Hamlin and 23XI Racing try to get some more answers from the sanctioning body.

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