Denny Hamlin announced on Thursday that he will not appeal the $25,000 fine imposed by NASCAR for criticizing the new Gen-6 car, but also confirmed his intention of not paying it.
"After a lot of thought I have decided not to appeal the fine NASCAR has issued. Dragging myself, my team and NASCAR through the mud for the next 2 weeks would not be good for anyone", Hamlin said on his Twitter account.
However, the driver of the Toyota N°11 for Joe Gibbs Racing added: "I firmly believe I am in the right on this issue and will stand behind my decision not to pay. I understand NASCAR will do what they feel is necessary based on my decision. Thanks to all of my fans and peers who have supported me in this decision. I look forward to putting it to rest".
NASCAR made a statement indicating that "the $25,000 fine assessed to driver Denny Hamlin on March 7 will be settled per Section 12-3 of the 2013 NASCAR rule book after being informed by Hamlin that he will not appeal the penalty". NASCAR "considers this matter closed".
The Section 12-3 of the rule book allows NASCAR to deduct fines from purse or point find winnings. After three races this season, Hamlin has collected $614,064.
Thanks to all of my fans and peers who have supported me in this decision.
Hamlin received the fine for "disparaging remarks about the on-track racing" after the second race, held on March 3rd at Phoenix International Raceway.
"I don't want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our Generation-Five (Car of Tomorrow) cars", was one of Hamlin’s phrases that NASCAR officials did not appreciate.
When he found out about the fine, Hamlin said "this is the most upset and angry I've been in a long, long time about anything that relates to NASCAR", and added: "As far as I'm concerned, I'm not going to pay the fine".