“That’s Kind of Off Limits” – Dale Earnhardt Jr Unveils the Blatant Reason Why He Feels NASCAR’s $50,000 Denny Hamlin Verdict is a Bit of an “Overreach”

Published 03/20/2023, 8:40 PM EDT

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Denny Hamlin has had a rough start to the 2023 season and has been in the news lately because of his NASCAR penalty. He was fined $50,000 and docked 25 points for his comments on his podcast, “Dirty Mo Media’s Actions Detrimental” admitting that he intentionally wrecked Ross Chastain at Phoenix Raceway.

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The penalty has created a buzz in the racing community, and many have different opinions on whether the punishment was too harsh or not.

Dale Earnhardt Jr, a former NASCAR driver and owner of “Dirty Mo Media” has shared his thoughts on the matter in his own podcast “Dale Jr Download.”

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Where does Dale Earnhardt Jr stand on the Denny Hamlin-Ross Chastain controversy?

In the podcast, Dale Jr. stated, “I feel like this is an overreach. I can’t help it. I mean, I gotta be honest. […] That’s absolutely, on the aggressive side of things, what happened between him and Ross on the racetrack but we see this multiple times in Races over the year.” 

Dale Jr. believes that NASCAR needs to evolve in how they view the way drivers use these platforms, particularly social media, and podcasts. While he acknowledges that drivers may say things in the heat of the moment they might regret later, he feels that they should be allowed to express themselves freely on such platforms.

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The JR Motorsports owner added, “Now at a time where social media analysts like podcast, they give drivers a new unfiltered platform. You know, and I think that as we evolve as a sport now, NASCAR needs to evolve in how they view the way drivers use these platforms, right?”

He also believes that if drivers are going to be punished for their actions on social media, there needs to be a clear and consistent set of guidelines for what is acceptable and what is not.

Dale Jr believes a different situation would have called for a different response from him

“If Denny gets out of the car and they get a microphone on, in his face on pit road, and he goes ‘I wrecked him right there, boom! bam!’, I would view that differently than Denny getting on his podcast on a Wednesday and go on ‘Yeah man, I didn’t take care of that guy’,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr.

He feels this way because Hamlin made the comments on his podcast and hence he should have been free to express himself. “You say whatever you wanna say! […] I feel like that’s kind of off-limits. In my mind.” concluded Junior.

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However, not everyone agrees with Earnhardt’s opinion. Many fans and analysts believe that Hamlin deserved the penalty. Violating section 4.4.B of the Cup Rule Book, Hamlin attempted to manipulate the outcome of the race by wrecking Chastain intentionally.

Hamlin’s comments on his podcast led to the penalty, and Elton Sawyer, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, as per nascar.nbcsports.com, stated that what happened between Hamlin and Chastain was viewed as a racing incident. But the comments he made afterward were not viewed that way.

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WATCH THIS STORY: “You Better Pay Attention” – Denny Hamlin Sends Stern Warning to Competitors as He Teases “Game Changer” Upgrades for JGR

While NASCAR has been cracking down on intentional wrecking and aggressive driving, it seems that Dale Jr believes that they may have gone too far in this case.

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Written by:

Kshitij Singh Rawat

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Kshitij is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Direction from Whistling Woods International, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports, including NASCAR and dirt racing, and has a keen acumen to research new topics introduced to the field. He is an aspiring media personality who loves to ride along the fast pace of life, just like NASCAR.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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