“He Was Hauling the Mail”- Denny Hamlin Put the Bill on Kyle Larson for Pit Road Chaos, Costing Ryan Blaney a Win

Published 10/25/2023, 2:57 PM EDT

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With 55 laps to go at Homestead-Miami, NASCAR fans saw a scary scene unfold in the Cup Series. Two playoff drivers, Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney, both decided to pit at the same time. Blaney was running first while Larson was in P2 at the time. As they were entering pit road, the 12 seemed to slow down a bit too much. The 5 had to take evasive action and ended up smashing the sand barriers and tagging the 12 at pit entry. A lot of people have called Blaney the culprit in that situation but as per Denny Hamlin, his main championship rival was the one at fault.

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Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin have had a splendid rivalry in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. Both drivers have fought tooth and nail against one another without any unsportsmanlike incidents. While Hamlin finds himself in the elimination zone, there is still hope for him to make it into the championship four.

Denny Hamlin reveals his thoughts on title rival’s pit lane incident

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On a recent episode of the Actions Detrimental podcast, the driver of the #11 car shared his thoughts on his title rival slamming into the sand barriers. As per Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson was overspeeding into the pit lane. Had Ryan Blaney or the sand barriers not been there, the HMS Star would have exceeded the pit lane speed limit.

The Joe Gibbs Racing star has a valid point. In a video released by NASCAR, the speeds of the two drivers were being compared as they made their way to the pits. The pit lane speed limit is 45 mph. As the two cars came close to pit entry, Ryan Blaney was driving at 68 mph while Kyle Larson’s car was moving at 87 mph.

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“Let’s just pretend the barriers weren’t there and let’s pretend Blaney wasn’t there, Kyle was absolutely gonna be speeding. I don’t see any way around that. I know Kyle mentioned in his interview that I didn’t think I was running a crazy speed but when he looked at the replay he was like, oh yeah looks like I just was…way overshot it,” Denny Hamlin said.

“What I saw was that the speed was way above speed limit and so he would have had a…it would have been tough to get that car stopped before pit lane speed and even where he hit the commitment line, he was hauling the mail there,” the Joe Gibbs Racing star added.

Had the contact not happened with Ryan Blaney and the sand barriers, Kyle Larson would have probably been slapped with a speeding penalty. Either way, the driver of the #12 finished P2, missing out on a win. Larson, on the other hand, failed to finish the race at one of his strongest tracks.

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Kyle Larson expresses disappointment after mishap

After his race was over, Kyle Larson was quite disappointed in himself. The HMS title favorite clearly wanted to have a strong finish at one of his best tracks. The driver of the #5 revealed that he was quite upset with himself for misjudging the pit road entry.

“I’m pretty upset at myself, more than anything. Whether he got to pit road speed sooner than the yellow line or not, I could have just done a little bit better job judging it. I was just kind of hanging on there at the end of the second stage and gave (Blaney) control of the race, and it kind of just led to this. Just have to do a little bit better job,” the driver of the #5 said.

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Kyle Larson has already confirmed his place in the championship race with his win at Las Vegas. However, the HMS man would like to go into Phoenix with some momentum. Will he be able to make a comeback in Martinsville? Only time will tell.

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh

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Nilavro Ghosh is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports. After completing his undergrad in the field, he has been a full-time journalist for the past three years. He started his journey as a motorsports fan with MotoGP and Formula One, before gravitating towards NASCAR.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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