|Keselowski took his lumps|
Denny Hamlin begs to differ.
Speaking with the media today, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said Keselowski has lost the respect of his racing peers and should modify his conduct, both on and off the racetrack.
“Do you want a championship trophy or the respect of your peers? I'll take the respect of my peers 10 times over that NASCAR trophy," said Hamlin. "They can't put that (Sprint Cup) trophy in my casket. What fun is a NASCAR party that nobody shows up to?”
Hamlin used recently retired veteran Mark Martin as an example of a driver who commanded respect in the NASCAR garage.
"Mark Martin never won a Sprint Cup trophy,” he said. “But I guarantee on Hall of Fame day, he'll have more support than anyone."
Hamlin also offered Keselowski some unsolicited advice, saying his "lack of remorse" alienates him from his fellow competitors. Specifically, Hamlin said Keselowski should not have turned his back on Jeff Gordon when the Hendrick Motorsports driver confronted him following Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.
"You're just looking for someone to say, 'Man, I'm sorry I ruined your day. I screwed up. I apologize,’” said Hamlin. "When that doesn't get said, it immediately lights a fire in your stomach. He doesn't have any remorse. He's like, 'Oh well, it's your problem.'
"That really set things off,” he added. “If Brad would have talked to Jeff and said, 'Man, I was going for a hole, it was my only chance, I'm really sorry it cut your tire.' Instead, it was, 'Oh well, sorry buddy. You left a hole.' If he did that to me, I would have had the same reaction as Jeff. No question.
"Brad doesn't have to apologize," said Hamlin. “But he has to realize (that) even if you don't mean it, just give the guy 30 seconds of your time to hear what he's got to say and have some dialogue. To blow someone off and think the world revolves around you, you just escalate that person's feelings against you times 10.
"Sometimes you have to face the music,” he said. “If you're (involved) in something, listen to what the other person has to say. You may not always agree."