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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

Furious Denny Hamlin blasts NASCAR over Ryan Blaney window issue

Denny Hamlin with a serious look

Mar 20, 2022; Hampton, Georgia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Denny Hamlin was ticked off with NASCAR over their inconsistent application of the rules on Sunday night.

Ryan Blaney won the NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. He effectively finished first twice, though his victory came under controversial circumstances.

NASCAR had just put out a caution flag right before Blaney was about to take the checkered flag. A NASCAR official later admitted putting the caution flag out at that time was a mistake. Blaney unlatched his window netting because he thought he had won. He tried to latch it as the race went to two overtime laps, but he still hadn’t gotten the netting back up completely by the time he was declared the winner after the extra laps.

Drivers are supposed to head to pit road to have their windows latched because it is deemed a safety issue. Blaney never did so and was able to resume racing during the final restart. That bothered Hamlin.

“You can’t change the rules. Why? Because you feel bad for the guy? I’ve had race-winning cars for the past four weeks and I’ve had stuff happen to me. That’s doesn’t mean they’re going to say, ‘Well, you should have won the race, so we’ll give you the win.’ It doesn’t matter. You can’t make up rules,” Hamlin vented after the race.

Hamlin said he wasn’t complaining because he missed out on the $1 million prize to the winner, but rather because of the inconsistency from NASCAR.

“I don’t want charity. I just want to play by the rules,” Hamlin said. “I think they just had a moral dilemma instead of playing by the rules.”

Hamlin said more of the same on the radio at the end of the race.

Blaney knew he got away with one. He thanked NASCAR for doing him a favor regarding the netting.

“It was about to real bad for us,” Blaney told FS1 after the race. “Everyone thought the race was over, I already had my window net down. I do want to thank NASCAR for letting me kind of fix it and not make us come down pit road.”

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