Sears Point: Hamlin - GM Friday interview

DENNY HAMLIN, NO. 11 FEDEX GROUND IMPALA SS WHAT DO YOU THINK OF NASCAR'S CRACKDOWN ON RULES IN GENERAL? "Yeah, it's well-received from us and probably from everyone who has to race against the organization every weekend. We're unlucky that ...

DENNY HAMLIN, NO. 11 FEDEX GROUND IMPALA SS

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF NASCAR'S CRACKDOWN ON RULES IN GENERAL? "Yeah, it's well-received from us and probably from everyone who has to race against the organization every weekend. We're unlucky that we're part of a team that would never have to worry about anything like that. We do things a little differently. It's unfortunate for them.

"It's just part of the rules set forth for this car of tomorrow that there would be no changes to it. And I think if there are changes, then they've got to crack down. In my opinion, they can't be heavy enough."

I GET THE SENSE THAT YOU'RE NOT SURPRISED AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS? "Anytime you win races that often, you're definitely pushing things. It doesn't mean that they are wrong every week, by any means. It's just that you always try to find an advantage and every now and then it comes back to bite you."

WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING OUT OF THE NEW CAR ON THE ROAD COURSES? "It's tough to know until we get in race conditions. But I think it's going to be very similar to the current car that we ran last year. At our test at VIR I didn't notice that big of a difference. The times were a little bit slower."

DO YOU THINK IT'S GOING TO BE HARDER TO PASS HERE? "No, I don't think it'll be much harder to pass. I think your good handling cars will definitely be pretty good and I think our team is going to be pretty good and a couple of other ones will be tough. But I don't think the aero is going to play that big of a role to where it will be that hard to pass."

ON GOING TO LOUDON "It's definitely a little bit different than any other track we go to because it almost seems like it's banked in the other direction on the bottom. But you can go way up high or run on the bottom. It's been a great race track for me. For the car of tomorrow, all these teams are really getting it figured out a little bit more so the racing is going to be definitely better."

HOW HAS THIS TRACK BEEN FOR YOU? "It's been very good to me. The one time I ran here I finished 12th. But we ran better than that. We had a flat tire a little bit past halfway and we had to play catch-up. For the most part, I like coming here. This is a very technical race track where you've got to be very smooth and very easy on the car or your can find yourself in trouble."

YOU RAN WELL IN MEXICO. HOW MUCH OF THAT CAN YOU TRANSFER TO THIS RACE TRACK? "I think quite a bit. I learned last year more at this race track than I had going to Mexico before here. A lot of it just comes from not overdriving the corners here. At Mexico, you can be a lot more aggressive so you've got to keep that in the back of your mind. If you haven't been here, like Juan Pablo Montoya, you've got to be careful. On top of that, it's a lot more technical track when it comes to road courses. The competition level is going to be a lot higher. He's been to a lot of road courses in his career so he'll definitely get it figured out and be a contender. I'm anxious to see how good he does."

HOW DIFFERENT IS THE NEW CAR GOING TO BE? "There is going to be a little bit of a learning curve you'll see on Friday and Saturday. But I think by race day we'll have it figured out."

ON THE NO. 24 AND 48 CARS NOT PASSING INSPECTION "I think those guys can figure it out. But it doesn't matter how much practice they have, the Hendrick cars can figure it out. But I'm really happy to see NASCAR cracking down when guys are trying to mess with the rules and the cars a little bit. That part of it is exciting from out part that they are sticking by their guns and cracking down and I think it will make the overall competition better."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya