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NASCAR Fans Rubbish Bubba Wallace’s Spotter’s Penalty Forecast for Boss Denny Hamlin as an April Fool’s Joke

Published 04/02/2024, 1:46 PM EDT

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Denny Hamlin riled up a lot of NASCAR fans after a controversial restart at Richmond Raceway. Martin Truex Jr dominated most of the 400-lap race until a caution on lap 398 turned the tide in Hamlin’s favor. After the No. 11 pit team did a miraculous job, Hamlin took the lead and according to some, jumped the restart zone.

After NASCAR’s lenient verdict triggered fans, Hamlin himself addressed the situation on his podcast. He partially conceded to his rushed tactics. Soon after, he took to X and admitted his fault, only to make fools out of his fans on April 1st. Bubba Wallace’s spotter also broached the topic and similarly poked fun at the NASCAR community.

Denny Hamlin’s joke stretched a little further by his employee

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Denny Hamlin may have been called out for his restart. Yet being NASCAR’s villain, he brushed off his haters. He also celebrated April Fool’s Day as a cherry on top. Soon after, 23XI driver Wallace’s spotter Freddie Kraft chimed in with his own take on the topic. Mind you, it was also on the same day: April 1st.

Kraft quipped on an episode of ‘Door Bumper Clear’, “Uh, no, he definitely jumped the start. It was pretty obvious watching it live and then going back to see the replays…I don’t think this is over yet. I think that there might be some interesting news coming out tomorrow in the penalty reports about this.”

After Denny Hamlin’s hilarious tweet, NASCAR fans could not take Kraft’s message seriously. One fan cautiously responded, “I believe absolutely nothing posted on April 1st”. Another fan flat-out stated, “The internet ruined April fools day. Everything is so stupid now”.

 

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Then one fan did the honors of confirming the others’ fears, “If you didn’t listen all the way through yet, Freddie circles back around near the end before their picks (1:33:30ish) and confirms it was, indeed, an April Fools’ joke during the ‘What An Idiot’ section (OP is the idiot in this case)”. Then somebody else said along similar lines, “Yep. I am the honorary what an idiot this week”.

 

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A few others did not take the jokes so well, “Some people man. Put themselves in such a rush to post it here, for the fake internet points of all things, just for it to be fake lol. On April Fools of all days”. Another fan publicly bashed Bubba Wallace’s team, “I wish #23 pit crew was a April fool joke”.

As fans got riled up over the April Fools’ taunts, a NASCAR official confirmed Denny Hamlin’s rushed tactics, albeit with a few insights.

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NASCAR sticks to its original stance with insights

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Denny Hamlin’s quick restart happened in a few seconds, just like every other racing incident. That is what Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, emphasized. While conceding that “there’s no doubt (Hamlin) rolled early” for the final restart, Sawyer said there was no way for a proper review.

“It’s a bang-bang call,” he said. “It’s at the end of the race. We’re a live sporting event. We don’t have the luxury of a timeout and go to the sideline and review it and make that call.” Sawyer also observed that Hamlin’s leading position also cleared him of foul play. “Because he was the leader, he did get some of that benefit. If he’s not the leader, then it’s a whole different conversation that we’re having.”

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While Sawyer stands behind Hamlin’s Richmond win, the JGR driver’s haters are not going to ease their frustration soon.

Denny Hamlin Demands Goodyear’s Intervention to Neutralize NASCAR’s Frustrating Obsession

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Written by:

Sumedha Mukherjee

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Sumedha Mukherjee is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports who is known for her in-depth track analysis as well as her lifestyle coverage of Cup drivers like Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. Inspired by the Kiwi's journey so far, Sumedha has also written pieces on Shane Van Gisbergen, predicting how the Supercars Champion would do in the new and unfamiliar American setting. Pairing her research skills with her vast experience as a writer, Sumedha creates stories her readers can easily get lost in.
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Edited by:

Shreya Singh