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Denny Hamlin: Drivers need a 'board' to advise NASCAR

  Denny Hamlin just might have a good idea here...and he's certainly bold to make the case (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Denny Hamlin has become Mr. Outspoken the past few weeks, and his anger at Jeff Gordon for Gordon's Talladega politicking with NASCAR for that no-push-drafting rule hasn't let up.
    "Who's running this sport?" Hamlin has asked, taking a critical stance on NASCAR's acceding to Gordon's pre-race Talladega request.
    Now Hamlin is ratcheting things up, suggesting that the sport needed a drivers' "board," to make suggestions to NASCAR.
    "Yes I agree we should probably have a board, of six or seven guys, like Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson…and some of the guys who are going to be the future of the sport, like (rookie) Joey Logano," Hamlin said.
   "Yes, you need to pay attention to the guys who have been in the sport the past 15 years, who got us to this point, with the boom….but you also need to listen to the guys who are going to be the future of the sport over the next 15 years, and their opinions should be just as important."
    About Talladega, Hamlin says he's been listening fans' views and he finds himself in agreement on some of their criticisms about that event, which featured some two hours of single-file follow-the-leader running, which drivers said they did deliberately, just to get to the end of the race without wrecking.
   "Fans deserve to be heard," Hamlin says.
   "They weren't happy. You can try to brush it under the table, but they didn't like what happened at Talladega. And I was just agreeing with them.
   "A lot of people just agree with NASCAR so they won't get in trouble with NASCAR. But the truth is the truth.
   "Something has to be done (at Talladega). We don't know what's got to be done, but something does. And fans are speaking out, and I'm just agreeing with them.
   "It's just frustrating that Gordon has that much pull with NASCAR. We've all driven this car-of-tomorrow the same number of years.
   "I just wish everyone could have equal say-so, and not just somebody behind closed doors being able to change how things go.
    "Outside of the race track Jeff and I probably get along better than just about anyone, except maybe Tony Stewart. But he also wants to do what's right for his team. And he was saying (before the race) that his car didn't 'push' well. So he will ultimately lobby to NASCAR 'We don't need to push.'
   "But that was an advantage I felt I had that was taken away."
    Hamlin said he did follow the usual procedures and take advantage of NASCAR's 'open door' policy for drivers. But he said he got the distinct feeling that NASCAR simply didn't pay much attention.
   "I just wish NASCAR would ask my opinion every once in a while," Hamlin said.
   "You get the feeling walking in the room (to talk with NASCAR) that it's just 'Okay, what do you want to say?'"
   In looking at this from a more big-picture perspective, it has become clear over the past several weeks and months that Hamlin is taking a more prominent role as spokesman for Joe Gibbs' Racing. Of course with Kyle Busch being so temperamental at times, and with Logano being so new, it's obvious that Hamlin is, by default, the man at the heart of the operation. And lately Hamlin has stepped to the plate.
   Not only that, but Hamlin has been at times almost downright erudite.
   What's made the change?
   "I've always an opinion….but, aw, I don't know," Hamlin said. "It just bugged me, that whole Talladega thing. I thought it was NASCAR doing it on its own; but I learned that someone influenced them, it got on my nerves."
   But there is more here…even though Hamlin himself will only concede "Oh, I'm just opinionated at times."




Hamlin's own words show what

Hamlin's own words show what he doesn't know!

A drivers board to advise NASCAR!? How has he not seen that NASCAR is not now, never has been, never will be, any kind of democracy! It has always been a privately owned, operated, dictatorship! Period, end of story!

Very soon Hamlin will feel NASCAR biting his ankles, then devouring his legs if he doesn't learn soon, maybe before he gets told up close and personal, that NASCAR does not need Denny Hamlin and will quite happily continue without him without a blink of their eye. Youth, ain't it grand!

Hilarious stuff from Denny

Hilarious stuff from Denny Hamlin. Maybe he should take care of business in private like real businessmen do. Go inside the big yellow trailer and be a man in front of men. Instead, he's venting to the media. (Good for the media,btw. Controversy brings ratings!) And if he still wants to be a founding member of the PDA, go for it.

"Something has to be done at

"Something has to be done at Talladega." Denny, here's what has to be done - forget about the points, forget about Mike Helton's bluffs, forget about anything but going for the lead. Don't let three seperate periods of single-file racing define anything. "The truth is the truth." 58 lead changes among 25 drivers - and NO prospect of anything close to this level of competition anywhere else - is the truth. What are you doing about the lack of lead changes everywhere else, Denny?

Good luck Denney!Obviously

Good luck Denney!Obviously you are not a student of NASCAR history!You see Denney there is a track called Talladega,you know that place you were at 2 weekends back!A group of drivers formed this little thing like an advisory board back in 1969.Similar to what you suggest now,hell Richard Petty was their spokes person.They formed this union/advisory board out of concern for driver safety.The tires were disintegrating due to the high speeds of the track which the banking played a major factor in!Nascar smashed that union/advisory board then just as they will your idea to form one now!They tell you they have an open door policy that any driver can come in any time to voice their opinion.Just as you said it was like talking to a brick wall!They do not care about the drivers anymore now than they did then.You are a comodity.If you dont believe that you are fooling yourself.Have you ever seen or heard of Nascar postponing an event due to the death of a driver or anyone for that matter?Dale Earnhardt,Davey Allison,Adam Petty,Kenny Irwin and the Hendricks plane crash victims just to name a few!You see Denny Nascar rules with an iron fist.They will never allow any individuals to form any type of group/organization that could jeopardize the power they enjoy!You dance to the music they choose or you dont dance.No different today then it was back in 1969,just different faces in the game!

Is this the same Denny Hamlin

Is this the same Denny Hamlin who essentially promised on live national TV to take out Brad Keselowski in the Miami Nationwide race? This guy needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut, like whenever there is a mic nearby.

Why do people complain

Why do people complain because you don't like the things that go on in Nascar and wish for change, but when you have a driver like Denny Hamlin who basically is telling it like it is, you in essence, you call him a whiner. What better voice to take on nascar than an actual driver. They have more pull than they think, they just need to come together as a group. If he went public standing behind nascar's position, you would be calling him a Nascar sheep. Can't have it both ways people.

Good point. I'm one of those

Good point.
I'm one of those who scoffed at Denny's suggestion. I applaud him for standing up and speaking his onions. However, I criticize his idea because it has no chance of succeeding . NASCAR is no more likely to listen to a board of drivers than it is to listen to a board of fans, team owners or US Senators. NASCAR listens to one voice: NASCAR's.
As for Denny, this idea is as bad as his suggestion to create a separate points system for Chase drivers. I will continue to scoff at bad ideas no matter who they come from.
+ Leonard.

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