mobile app bar

Denny Hamlin Insists All Is Well With Kyle Larson, Downplays Rumors of Rift in Friendship

Gowtham Ramalingam

Denny Hamlin Insists All Is Well With Kyle Larson, Downplays Rumors of Rift in Friendship

Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson’s cars have always had a fatal attraction to each other on the race track. This could be because they’re handled by two of the best stock car racers in the world who compete for the win almost every weekend. After the most recent dust-up in Nashville, rumors of a feud began to surface. But both drivers, who are good friends off the track, have put these to rest.

Talking to the media in Chicago, Hamlin said most of their run-ins occur because they’re battling for the same position most of the time. He continued, I mean, when it comes down to it, we’ve raced each other for a lot of wins over the last few years. And really, no matter what team he’s driven for, he’s competed for race wins. I think a lot of that is because we’re running in the same place at the same time.”

The drivers were battling for third place towards the end of Stage 2 in Nashville when Larson ran Hamlin up the track through Turn 1 and Turn 2. Not pleased with it, Hamlin slammed into the back of Larson’s car repeatedly before his crew chief, Chris Gabehart, intervened and cooled him down. Though the situation diffused, Gabeheart wasn’t happy with his driver’s short fuse after the race.

Hamlin said of the raised voices in their post-race discussion, “It was not as intense after (the race), for sure. But at the moment, he’s trying to relay some information to me, and I don’t think he feels like he had my attention at that exact moment. So that’s why the volume probably turned up when it did.”

Meanwhile, Larson too, appears keen to smoke the peace pipe with Hamlin.

Larson trusts Hamlin to race clean

When asked about the recent rifts between him and Hamlin, Larson said that it all comes down to trust to race each other cleanly. He said,Just feeling like you can trust, maybe trust the moves that somebody’s gonna make on you, and I feel like that’s when you have close racing and trust what they’re going to do, I think that’s fun to me.”

He continued to note that he has enjoyed such racing a lot of times with Hamlin since their flare-up in Pocono last summer. However, he also said that there have been times when he felt he could’ve been given some space. “But yeah, I mean, I guess that could just be considered racing sometimes,” he added. The drivers will next meet each other on the streets of Chicago on Sunday.

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

Read more from Gowtham Ramalingam

Share this article