So here's the deal ... on Thursday NASCAR driver Denny Hamilin said something -- what he said is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS -- and got fined $25 LARGE ($25,000) by NASCAR for comments discourteous to NASCAR or something. Well, Denny was NOT hip to that, and said he ain't paying, and issued this statement via Twitter late Thursday:
"The short of the long of it is I believe I was severely disrespected by NASCAR by getting fined. I believe that the simple fact of us not even having a conversation about this issue before I was hit with a fine has something to say about our relationship. What I said was 1 sentence taken completely out of context. Most drivers will tell you that we constantly have our AND nascars best interest in mind when speaking. On the other hand I am a person that worked very hard from the BOTTOM to get where I am today and someone telling me that I can give my 100 percent honest opinion really bothers me. Since being fined in 2010 I have been a lot more careful about what I say to media and I felt this past weekend felt completely in my rights to give a assessment of the question asked. I feel as if today NASCAR lost one of its biggest supporters vocally of where our sport is headed. So in the end there are no winners. I said today I would not pay the fine. I stand by that and will go through the process of appealing. Trust me, this is not about the money.. It's much deeper. I will now shift my focus on giving FedEx and my team what they deserve this weekend, a win."
Here's the thing: NASCAR needs to calm the F down. Dude, seriously, fining drivers for saying whatever ... like the Gen 6 car isn't PERFECT and may even (gasp) be inferior to the Gen 5 car in some ways or whatever the hell Hamlin allegedly said? Seriously? Grow a set, NASCAR. "Controlling the message" doesn't mean smacking any whiff of disagreement.
I was glad to see some push back from fans via Twitter on this whole goofy deal. A little dissent within the ranks is not a bad thing. It's a good thing. Stick it to the man, Denny.