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“It Needed to End”: Kevin Harvick Drops Verdict on Denny Hamlin-Marcus Smith Beef

Gowtham Ramalingam

“It Needed to End”: Kevin Harvick Drops Verdict on Denny Hamlin-Marcus Smith Beef.

Joe Gibbs Racing star Denny Hamlin and Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) CEO Marcus Smith got into a largely unprofessional exchange of dialogue on X last week. The root behind the argument was the damages that the surface of the Sonoma Raceway incurred despite only being recently repaved. Hamlin posted an image of the damage on his handle and accused Smith of inefficient work – setting off a series of backs and forths with him. 

With the entire feud being set up for the world to see on the social media platform, the duo came to a truce after some irrevocable damage. Talking about the sequence on the “Harvick Happy Hour” podcast, Kevin Harvick opened up on his thoughts on it. Acknowledging that he was quite surprised to see the two battle it out on X, he considered that there could possibly be a deeper issue between them.

Whatever the reasons, Harvick was glad that they settled it. “In the end, they decided that it needed to end,” he said. “Kind of just let it go. It was all over the paving issues that they had at Sonoma. Denny fired off and then Marcus fired back. It was definitely an interesting conversation. I’m sure there is some backstory to the frustration between the two. Maybe not.”

Denny Hamlin reveals the reason behind his frustration with Marcus Smith

The deeper issue that Harvick talked about is the tensions surrounding the division of the media rights revenue between tracks, teams, and NASCAR. As a team owner, Hamlin has been pitching to get a better share of the TV rights revenue (Teams currently get 25%). He expressed on Actions Detrimental earlier this week that Speedway Motorsports Inc. got the highest share of the revenue (60%) and Smith not doing quality work on the tracks despite that is what frustrated him.

He revealed how he’d gone to lunch with Smith and asked him to be open about what SMI was making and how much it was reinvesting into making the tracks better. “Why can’t you be as transparent as what we’ve been, back to you guys and NASCAR, about our cost? he asked. “Why is it all so secretive all the time? It’s secretive because it’s a big number.”

“They make a lot of money. And so, that’s where my frustration stems from. It’s why I got triggered,” he concluded with the contention that SMI wasn’t using its profits to make the race tracks better as it ought to. Though the issue appears settled for now, the driver’s frustration carries on to be fought another day.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

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.

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