Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Freight Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway and discussed if he had talked to Kyle Petty and the incident from the previous weekend, his position in the standings, if he blamed his...
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Freight Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway and discussed if he had talked to Kyle Petty and the incident from the previous weekend, his position in the standings, if he blamed his performance at Dover on being sick, being involved in an incident with someone like Petty, if what Petty did was right or wrong, what he needs to do to mature as a driver, if he thinks he needs a Chase run like Jimmie Johnson had last year to be a championship contender, when he will talk to Petty, why he thinks Petty did what he did, on how fans perceive him and how he thinks he should be, balance between cautiousness and aggressiveness, on the top-35 rule, strategy for Talladega, the drafting test there, how to race the new car at Talladega, racing Chase drivers and non-Chase drivers and whether getting out of his car to face Kyle Petty was a good idea.
Select quotes from driver interview:
HAVE YOU TALKED TO KYLE PETTY YET? "No, I haven't talked to Kyle yet but we're here with a new weekend and I feel refreshed and ready to go."
HAVE YOU PUT THE INCIDENT WITH PETTY BEHIND YOU? "Definitely. Kyle is someone who I really respect a lot, regardless of any on-track incident or anything like that. I definitely stand for everything that he stands for and a lot of (what we raise with) the 'Wear Your Heart on Your Helmet' campaign that we do with FedEx goes to Victory Junction Gang Camp at the end of the year. So we're all about Kyle and we know that he's fighting to stay in the top 35 as well as we're fighting for that championship. Really, we've got two races within one."
IS IT TOUGH TO BE INVOLVED IN AN INCIDENT WITH SOMEONE LIKE PETTY? "Yeah, definitely. No matter what you do, Kyle is going to be right and a lot of what he did was right. It's tough. You never want to be involved in an incident, especially with Kyle because he's respected a lot like Mark Martin is in the garage. So really I've just got to learn to grow up as far as that's concerned."
WHAT DO YOU THINK HE DID WAS RIGHT? "I just like his intensity. Even though he's not battling for a top-20 spot in points, he's not out there just collecting a paycheck. He's out there to race and he gets frustrated just like anyone else. I personally know that he got loose in front of me; I was right on him when I hit him. So there's really not a whole lot I could have done. There was a closing rate that was big. But I probably shouldn't have went after him. I should have just let it go as soon as he chose to hit my helmet. I should have just let it go and not gotten out of the car. It would have been no big issue, really."
-credit: gm racing