Denny Hamlin Takes a Jibe at Hendrick Motorsports at Kyle Larson’s Expense

Published 09/05/2023, 6:07 PM EDT

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In an unexpected twist at Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports outdid himself by winning the race – but not without some dramatic wall encounters and a surprise shift to neutral. Now, his friend-turned-nemesis has given some input on the win. Stay with us, as the conversation only got hotter!

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In a recent episode of the ‘Actions Detrimental’ podcast with co-host Jared Allen, NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin had some choice words for Hendrick Motorsports and Kyle Larson. The conversation took a spicy turn as both men dissected the tactics and driving styles in the recent Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Hamlin’s remarks gave a peek into the competitive dynamics and strategy differences that often play out on the racetrack.

Hamlin’s Tactical Game of Calculated Risks and Missed Opportunities?

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During the discussion, Jared Allen brought up Kyle Larson’s race at Darlington, where Larson tagged the wall but still managed to win. Larson and his spotter confessed that the mishap would cost them the race. JGR driver Denny Hamlin, who led a significant portion of the race but finished 25th, seized the opportunity to highlight his own race strategy.

“I mean that’s kind of how I knew what I had in reserve is right is that when the #5 [Larson] was able to somewhat stay with me. You know they mentioned to me in it on the radio that he’s doing everything he can he’s up against the wall is bounced off of it a few times it tells me he’s pushing.” Hamlin stated.

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He further added, “And I know at that point I hadn’t even run you know a line that I you know, thought maybe was gonna be faster. I just didn’t want to put my car at risk at any point in the race unless I absolutely had to uh… that’s why Darlington can you don’t see me run the fence early in races.”

Hamlin’s comments may be seen as a not-so-subtle way of saying that while Larson might have won the battle at Darlington, the war is far from over. Hamlin suggested he could have pushed his car harder and taken more risks but chose not to, leaving listeners to speculate on what could have happened if he had gone all out.

 

WATCH THIS STORY: Kyle Larson Namedrops Top 3 Guy As Biggest Championship Roadblock

Kyle Larson, not new to fame with his 2021 Cup Series champion title, advanced to the round of 12 in style. But this wasn’t just another win. Larson’s triumph marked Hendrick’s 299th Cup Series victory. Now, all eyes are on which Hendrick driver will clinch that 300th win. Kyle Larson gave his insights.

Kyle Larson’s Darlington Feat Beyond the Scratches

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Larson’s race wasn’t a fairy tale. He kissed the Darlington’s wall several times and managed to snatch the lead with 55 laps left. But Larson’s magic lay in his determination and knack to know when to strike, proving that it’s not always about having the most potent car but the heart of a champion. Who says you can’t win with a few scratches? 

“I think all four of us would want to be the one to do it. But really, I think 300 wins is just a super big number. For me, I’m going to be just as happy to see William, Chase, or Alex win No. 300 for Rick as I would be for myself to win,” Kyle Larson stated in a post-race interview. 

Meanwhile, Larson’s teammate William Byron, previously tied as the top seed for the playoffs, landed a respectable fourth, keeping the championship dream alive. Should Byron or Larson clinch the final championship in Phoenix, Hendrick Motorsports would celebrate their 15th title. A dynasty in the making? Three wins in four years would undoubtedly make a statement.

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With Darlington in the rearview, fans eagerly await how Kansas will unfold. Will it be Hendrick’s iconic 300th? Or will another underdog rise?

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Written by:

Brahmi Dhaytadak

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Brahmi Dhaytadak is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. She combines her love for F1, Tennis, and NASCAR into electrifying prose that sets the hearts of her readers racing. Whether it was the finesse of Charles Leclerc's maneuvers around Monaco or the artistry of Roger Federer's racket, everything inspired Brahmi to venture into the field of sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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