Friday, February 20, 2015

Patrick And Hamlin Clash, On And Off The Track

                                Jared Tilton, Getty Images
Danica Patrick is not happy with Denny Hamlin.

The Stewart Haas Racing driver confronted her Joe Gibbs Racing rival following a crash late in Thursday night’s second Budweiser Duel at Daytona qualifier, roughly 24 hours after a similar backstretch practice crash cost Patrick her primary race car.

Patrick was comfortably qualified in eighth place Thursday when Hamlin pulled up on her rear bumper, causing the Chevrolet to spin. Video replays revealed no contact between the two, and while Patrick rebounded to finish 10th and qualify for Sunday’s Daytona 500, she leapt from her car to confront Hamlin on pit road after the race.

"You did the same f---ing thing in practice,” said Patrick. “You did the same thing."

"I didn't hit you,” countered Hamlin. “I did not touch you."

The Fed Ex Toyota driver said Patrick’s car was handling poorly, causing it to spin when he pulled in behind her and took the air off her rear spoiler.

"You gotta tighten up it, Danica,” he said. “I gave you an extra two feet...”

                                                          Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP
"You gave me nothing,” said Patrick. “It spun my back end around. You get on my left-rear and it spins me out. You did the same thing (Wednesday). It happened twice. The same person, the same way."

"Guess what,” countered Hamlin. “I didn't hit you either time."

Hamlin said he had no choice but to run close in the races, whether or not Patrick’s car was loose.

“Does that mean, ‘Oh my god, she's loose (so) I can't run next to her?' What should I do?" he asked.

"It just means don't be up my ass on my left corner,” she replied.

Patrick’s team owner, Tony Stewart, also jumped into the fray, telling Hamlin, "That's two (wrecked race cars) this week, bud."

I never touched her,” repeated Hamlin. “What do you want me to do, not run close? I'm friends with you and her. Stop this s--t, man."

"That ain't going to fly when you're crashing," said Stewart.

Patrick will start 20th in Sunday’s Daytona 500, with Hamlin slated to roll off 42nd.


  1. Anonymous10:12 AM

    I thought the comments were telling. Denny said something similar to "No one is getting close to you." I think that shows drivers don't trust her and feel they can't run close to her in the draft. When someone like Denny does and she has trouble, it makes it worse. That coupled with her complaining about driver being close, I think makes other drivers respect her less.

  2. Anonymous10:19 AM

    Sorry..but she's just never going to make it. She's still driving an Indy car in her mind and afraid to get close to competitors. She's never going to be aggressive enough to win a race. Here's an example of her thinking, It's never my Fault.

  3. Tony knows what the true story is.... It's Daytona and Denny has every right to run close. Danica just needs to get a grip! And i'm not dissin' Danica either, the girl can drive!

  4. Danica needs to put on her big girl pants if she wants to race with the guys. She will always bring a lot of money to the sport but sooner or later that won't be enough to sustain her existence in the sport

  5. Anonymous10:24 AM

    Seems to me Kurt was able to run close to her without spinning her out, close enough to charge from 18th to 10th in fact.

  6. Having watched these cars the past couple of years it is pretty well known that getting behind a car very close on the left side will cause the car in front to spin, no contact required and that is what happened here. Did she move right or did he move left?

    I found it more interesting that Hamlin and Danica consider each other friends and he implied that he was her best friend out there - and that no one else was going to push her. I do wish, for her sake, that she could have waited until the two could talk with their side-by-side busses without the cameras to have that conversation.

    In the end I guess that being pushed is a skill that Danica requires more practice at - and she is going to need friends to be willing to practice with her.

  7. Wow, when it involves #4 almost wrecking when the #22 does the exact same thing in a very similar location it is the #22's fault and he's called an idiot for doing it. But, when the #11 does the exact same thing to the #10 car suddenly the #10 car is at fault. The #10, the car in the exact same position as the #4 yet the fault is reversed. You guys may not be fans of the #10, and I have no dog in the fight. But, the blatant double standards are obvious.

  8. Dave, If, in fact, Hamlin didn't tap her on the right rear bumper (and I'm not sure that he didn't), wouldn't all other cars react the same way as the #10 did in the corner?