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Richard Petty Delivers His Take on Denny Hamlin’s Richmond Controversy

Gowtham Ramalingam
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Richard Petty Delivers His Take on Denny Hamlin’s Richmond Controversy

Denny Hamlin – once again – divided NASCAR after his late-race restart at the Richmond Raceway. With multiple opinions flying in from all directions questioning the timing of the restart, NASCAR ruled him clear and awarded him the win. However, not everyone sees things the same way. With arguments continuing to haze the field, Richard “King” Petty has picked a side.

The seven-time Cup Series champion was answering questions on his YouTube channel when he was asked if Hamlin ought to have been reprimanded for the restart. Making his stand clear, Petty responded that he thinks Hamlin did jump his start. However, he could understand why the promotion had to rule in favor of the Joe Gibbs Racing star at the end of the day.

“Well, I think he started a little early,” he said. “But when you get done and you’ve run a race that long it’s hard to make a judgment call. If that’d been the first half of the race, they could’ve probably made a judgment call. But under those circumstances, they were just trying to get the race over with.” The race in Richmond was a 407-lap one and was heading into overtime during the restart.

Hamlin concedes that he pushed early in the restart under pressure from Martin Truex Jr.

Talking to listeners on Actions Detrimental, Hamlin spoke about the restart and the relay of thoughts in his mind during it. He said that things looked worse on TV than from behind the wheel. He continued, “When I am restarting the race, I am not looking at the flagman, I am not looking at my dash, I am not looking at anything. All I’m looking at is my mirror and my peripheral.”

He reiterated that his focus was on Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr., who were creeping up behind him hoping to get past him on the restart. “All I’m doing is looking mirror side,” he reasoned. “When I see [Truex] starting to creep, I’m like, ‘I take off.’ So I don’t see where I’m in the zone, and so I can concede, definitely, that it is a few feet early.”

Regardless of whether Hamlin jumped the start or not, the case has now been closed two days since. Should the promotion wish to avoid such fiascos in the future, it’d be better off making the restart point a hard line. The way it is now, the race leader controls the restart. And Hamlin had an entire box to catch his contenders off-guard. He did just that and NASCAR failed to call it.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The Sports Rush. 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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