via Imago

via Imago

The spat between Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin continues to gather attention. After two weeks of exchanging words through appearances on discussion forums and press conferences, the duo will meet again at the Michigan International Speedway. Such incidents between drivers can prove to have a long-lasting effect, and more so in this case, considering the ties between Hamlin and Larson go long back in time.

Hendrick Motorsports legend and former crew chief Steve Letarte has an interesting opinion on how things could materialize in Michigan. Speaking on Dirty Mo Media’s talk show Dirty Mo Dough, his statements indicate that Hamlin is one of the threats for Kyle Larson in the race and he has the tools in his box to outpace him.

Letarte believes Denny Hamlin did Kyle Larson “dirty”


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“Alright, well here let’s talk about the feud between Hamlin and Larson,” started Letarte. When the two clashed at Turn 1 in Pocono, Larson was pushed into the wall, while Denny Hamlin sped off. Eventually, Hamlin did go on to win the race, while Larson, who was competing alongside the #11 at the time of the wreck, was left languishing at 20th. Larson, although frustrated, seemed ready to make peace through dialogue with the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, but things didn’t go that way really.

Speculating about how things can unfold at Michigan if one considers the ongoing squabble between the two, Letarte warned, “I think you know everybody’s team Larson. Hamlin did him dirty, Hamlin outran him again at Richmond, I think Hamlin’s gonna outrun him again at Michigan.”

At Richmond, Larson felt he needed to give Hamlin a taste of his medicine. Coming out of the pit road with new tires, Larson nudged the rear of the Camaro to show that he was not backing out of the quarrel either. Speaking about the minor faceoff between the pair at Richmond, Letarte said,

“[What Larson] did, it was beautiful. I like the little pop. And you know what I liked? There was nothing on the #11 radio. ‘Don’t you dare open your mouth and complain about this.’ He’s just like ‘Wham! Yep, okay! Come on through.’

On being asked about who has the better chances of a higher finish on Sunday, he has clear winner in his mind, as he says,I think Hamlin over Larson for sure.

But apart from Kyle Larson, the situation at Hendrick Motorsports has been quite dicey recently. Their best driver this season, William Byron has missed out on a lot of valuable points in his regular season championship chase, to begin with. But Letarte’s heart goes out to Bowman!

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“He’s out there driving”: Steve Letarte feels for Alex Bowman


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After recording continuous wins and podiums, Byron propelled himself to the top of the boards but lost a lot of ground as Martin Truex Jr and Hamlin jump over him. On another hand is the situation that has put Hendrick Motorsports into a grave dilemma. Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman are undergoing a strenuous season and haven’t landed themselves in a playoff spot yet.

Two drivers of high caliber missing out on the playoffs will definitely be disadvantageous for Rick Hendrick and Co. Letarte is aware of the reasons that have held them back. Citing Bowman’s luck with injuries and repetitive accidents on the track, the former crew chief of the #24 wants people to cut Bowman some slack.

Talking about the precarious situation of Larson’s teammate at HMS, he said, “He did tell Marty Snyder reported on the air that his back is still not 100 percent. It doesn’t hurt in the car but he feels it Monday Tuesday Wednesday after… I mean, why we’re judging him on being a driver. The man did flip a Sprint Car and break his back this year. So, I know we want to judge him ice cold but maybe the guy you know… if me or you would be back in the car and he’s out there driving.”


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Bowman had to miss out on three point races with the injury and has been granted a waiver by NASCAR. It remains to be seen if the need for a waiver arises, which can only happen if Bowman makes the cut for the playoffs.