“Back in the Day of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart…” – Denny Hamlin Vehemently Backs Kyle Busch’s Controversial Statement

Published 03/21/2023, 2:00 PM EDT

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In the buildup to the Atlanta race, Kyle Busch claimed that the mutual respect between drivers these days was lost and there was no racing etiquette anymore which used to exist ‘back in the day.’ Busch was of course talking on a more general level but he got to that point after talking about the incident between Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain in Phoenix.

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“We have completely lost any sense of respect in the garage area between drivers. At all. That’s where the problem lies. Nobody gives two s**ts about anybody else,” Busch said. “We’re all selfish, granted but there was an etiquette that once lived here.”

This led to a lot of fans being critical of the ex-Joe Gibbs Racing driver, and recently it was his ex-teammate, Denny Hamlin, who reacted to these remarks.

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Denny Hamlin agrees with Kyle Busch over the loss of mutual respect between drivers

Speaking in a recent episode of his Actions Detrimental podcast, Denny Hamlin admitted how the respect and etiquette that Busch mentioned “certainly is lost,” and that “things have changed” in modern-day NASCAR.

“But I have an opinion on why it’s changed,” he claimed. “It’s harder to pass now than ever, and that’s a fact.”

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This led to his co-host, Jared Allen, wondering if the common perception of young drivers not having enough respect when they come in is because it’s so hard to pass now, to which Hamlin emphasized his stance.

“My opinion is, there’s less give and take because you cannot get that spot back,” he described. “Back in the day of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, those guys, I remember the first 3-5 years of my career, I would let people pass on restarts to save my tires to then blow their doors off after 25 laps of green flag racing.”

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“You could do it, passing was more…it was easier. If your car was significantly better than someone, then you could take it easy and then step on their throats in the long run and just demolish the field.”

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Hamlin claims the days of giving a spot and getting a spot are long gone

Denny Hamlin claimed drivers these days don’t feel like they can “give a spot-get a spot,” as opposed to how it used to be when drivers would give and take. “That s**t’s long gone,” he said.

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“It’s just different now because passing is more difficult, track position is more important than it’s ever been.”

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Hamlin gave an example of someone trying to make his way through the field after a speeding penalty. “Your a** is done,” he said as he claimed that the driver might get back towards the front, but he’ll never win the race. “It’s not like it used to be,” he added.

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“It’s just different and I think that is a factor and rightfully, so you have to fight for positioning more than you used to.”

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Written by:

Shaharyar

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Shaharyar is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for a better part of the decade. While Kyle Busch is always his first pick, he also considers Kyle Larson a legend in the making.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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