Talladega: Hamlin Friday media visit

DENNY HAMLIN, NO. 11 FEDEX MONTE CARLO SS, TALKED WITH MEDIA ABOUT HIS PHOENIX SPEEDING PENALTY, TONY STEWART'S COMMENTS AND MORE WHAT GOES ON INSIDE YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU END UP IN THIRD PLACE AFTER A PENALTY AND MIGHT HAVE WON THE RACE? "It's...

DENNY HAMLIN, NO. 11 FEDEX MONTE CARLO SS, TALKED WITH MEDIA ABOUT HIS PHOENIX SPEEDING PENALTY, TONY STEWART'S COMMENTS AND MORE

WHAT GOES ON INSIDE YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU END UP IN THIRD PLACE AFTER A PENALTY AND MIGHT HAVE WON THE RACE? "It's tough to win or finish in the top five in any race but it takes more time for us - for myself - to get over it but I know deep in my heart that a third-place finish is good for us. It's a good points day and it could have been a whole lot worse."

DOES NASCAR PROVIDE DATA THAT SAYS HOW FAR OVER THE SPEED LIMIT YOU WERE? "We asked for it and what it said is that we were 50.13 mph. The limit is 45 mph but I believe they give you up to 50.1 mph as the absolute max. We were just a bit over it."

I BELIEVE YOU FIRST SAID YOU WERE 2.2 MPH UNDER THE FIRST TIME? "What we had was. you can call up NASCAR after you go down pit road and say 'in such and such a segment, what was our speed?'. We were the first car on pit road so I had no one in front of me and could run the exact RPM I wanted to run, then asked how much room do we have to go up or down. They said we were 2.2 and if it was good. (Crew chief) Mike (Ford) asked me if I wanted to increase the RPM and I said 'no, I'll just keep it in reserve in case I need it'. I came back in the second time as the leader and didn't need to speed but was speeding when I felt like I was running the exact same RPM. Whether we got a bad segment time the first time, I don't know. Maybe that was the fact - we just called in maybe a segment where we were a little too slow, where we were actually closer to the limit than what we thought."

HOW NICE IS IT TO KNOW THAT YOU'RE GETTING CARS THAT YOU CAN GO FROM 43RD TO UP FRONT IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME? "That's the great thing is that we had a lot of fun going back to the front but it was frustrating in the same breath. it gave me a lot of confidence that our team was really on top of things with the new car and it gives me a big shot of confidence for Richmond coming up."

YOUR THOUGHTS ON TONY STEWART'S COMMENTS: "It's pretty much taken up all the media when you turn on the TV and hear about it. To me it's tough that a guy really can't say what he really feels even on his own radio show but you've got to protect the integrity of the sport and can't throw mud all over it in the same aspect. I definitely see both sides of it. I think he's in a tough situation where he didn't want to let loose in front of the cameras so instead he did it behind the microphone and it still cost him."

-credit: gm racing

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup