“The Answer’s Always Yes” – Denny Hamlin Reveals the Reason Behind His “No Reservations” Netflix Approach

Published 01/31/2024, 7:05 AM EST

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NASCAR drivers love their personal space. After being at the center of countless cameras on the race track, it is only standard for a driver to love some private time. However, when NASCAR announced the collaboration with Netflix for NASCAR: Full Speed, many were concerned about drivers being uncomfortable with it. Since the show aimed to shed light on their lives off the track and behind-the-scene insights, it was a valid question. For Denny Hamlin, it was not an issue.

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While it might have been a headache for drivers like defending champion Joey Logano would have said they would like more respect for their privacy, Denny Hamlin understood that to showcase his side of things to the fans, he would have to give Netflix some more room in his daily life. In the inaugural episode of the second season of Actions Detrimental, Hamlin disclosed his perception of the matter.

Denny Hamlin’s comfort under the cameras

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The Joe Gibbs Racing ace is a regular presence in the headlines. Apart from his antics and wins on the race track, his podcast has been a treasure chest of controversial opinions. Having been in the spotlight for long, Denny Hamlin wasn’t afraid to let Netflix have a closer peek into his life. When co-host Jared Allen questioned him about having no prior reservations about the intrusion, the 43-year-old claimed that the documentary’s potential was one of the reasons for his willingness.

“No. Only because I knew what the potential for it was,” said Hamlin. “I knew that they were going to ask for more access than others have been granted before. I understand that they have a show to make.”

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Stating some factors that increase his intrigue in a show, Denny Hamlin added, “Sometimes when I watch shows, it’s the access that… ‘Man, I’ve never seen that before’, that’s what I find compelling. So my rule of thumb for them was that the answer’s always yes. Whatever you want, unless I tell you no. I just never had any instance where I felt uncomfortable to say no.”

Shortly, Denny also joked that the production wouldn’t be hindered unless the cameras found him without any clothes. Denny Hamlin is among the most highlighted drivers in the series, and according to him, the agreement of access was a major reason behind it. He said, “If you want to follow me all the way, go right ahead. The door’s open, and I’m gonna keep it open behind me. So, I just allowed them to have the access which is probably why the screentime was more.

NASCAR Full: Speed has given the viewers a different view of the sport, which has two contrasting sides. It’s safe to say that both have been depicted quite accurately in the documentary. As for Denny Hamlin’s attitude as the heel of NASCAR, the docuseries has alsoshed new light on his off-field persona.

NASCAR has shown Hamlin’s life through a lens previously unknown to the masses

The NASCAR fandom has hardly been an ally for the 43-year-old. NASCAR: Full Speed takes us to his thoughts behind it and how he has excelled in the role year after year. As Dale Earnhardt Jr said, “For our sport to have success, it has to have people like Denny Hamlin.” However, that is not the only color on Denny Hamlin’s spectrum.

In the first episode of the series, Hamlin gives people a look into his life as a father of two daughters. The different emotions have been well-documented, from taking them to school to teaching his younger daughter how to drive a car. Denny Hamlin also reveals that he has had to work for his success from scratch and does not want his daughters to understand it as a given. He wants them to create their unique identity in the world.

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Further, in one of the episodes, Netflix also rewinds in time to the racing roots of Hamlin. In a dialogue, Denny’s father, Dennis, voices his pride at being able to nurture a good man and a great race car driver. NASCAR fans might have hated Denny Hamlin for his on-track antics, but he had his fair share of struggles and gambles en route to the top of NASCAR.

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The show also covers his dejection after another painful elimination in the playoffs. His struggle with the shoulder injury is one of the highlights of his screen time in the docu-series. Overall, Hamlin will be happy with how Netflix has unearthed his story to the fans.

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Written by:

Ansuman Abhisek

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Ansuman Abhisek is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. Even before he made his way into the world of motorsports, he had already made a name for himself in the sports journalism field by working as a writer for a few media houses. Now, having covered multiple Cup races live, he has often been the first to report on-track incidents and also provide his readers with an in-depth analysis of the same.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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