Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Ground Impala SS, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed being brought to the garage early in practice by NASCAR for bump drafting; on Sunday's first superspeedway race with the Impala SS...
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Ground Impala SS, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed being brought to the garage early in practice by NASCAR for bump drafting; on Sunday's first superspeedway race with the Impala SS new-generation NASCAR race car; on drivers with less experience, Jacques Villeneuve, Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish, attempting to make starts at Talladega Superspeedway; on working with teammates here at Talladega; thoughts on the "Big One" at Talladega; on concerns about new-generation car at Talladega, on surviving here without any more hit in the point standings and on next week's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Selected quotes from driver interview:
ON HIS THOUGHTS ABOUT SUNDAY'S RACE: "I hope everybody brought as many cameras as possible because it is definitely going to be history. I don't know, it is crazy because you just don't know where the cars are going to go. The old cars, you kind of had an idea when you were going to get a run; the cars didn't move around a whole lot. Now it just seems like the cars wander in the corner quite a bit. You never know when a guy really gets on you. The thing is too, with the wing, there is no hand signals now and that is a huge part of superspeedway racing is being able to know if the guy in front of you wants you to push him or is he already on somebody and he doesn't need a bump. We don't have that form of communication now, it is almost just like riding with the radios off.
"You can't see around them. It was hairy in practice, I can't imagine, really how the race is going to go. We will see. I have seen stranger things, it could go uneventful and it could be a big one."
ON HIS CONCERNS ABOUT THE "BIG ONE": "It is inevitable. It is really is. There is going to be no avoiding it. The only thing that I can think of is if NASCAR is a tough in the race as they were in practice as far as bump drafting, then maybe it will settle down a little bit but inside 20 laps to go, the guys are going to do everything they can to push the guy in front of them, because, ultimately, the only way to go anywhere in these cars is to push the guy in front of you. There is no riding and inch or two behind them and going through the traffic. You have to make contact to go somewhere and when guys are trying to get to the front at the end, they are going to hit each other. If NASCAR continues to crack down like they did in practice, then you are going to have a lot of judgment calls like 'All right, did they penalize this person or did they single him out.' I think they are just going to be at a tough, tough spot come Sunday."
ON CONCERNS ABOUT DRIVERS WHO MAY QUALIFY THAT HAVE LITTLE OR NO EXPERIENCE: "Not really. There is only few, a handful, that I haven't raced with that much. We kinda get the idea of how we race each other. But we need hand signals and right now we don't have that and that is a huge key to run a safe restrictor plate race and right now we don't have that."
ON BEING PARKED BY NASCAR AT THE END OF PRACTICE: "I was finished there anyway, but they parked me at the end. I don't know. We asked us what was the difference in us and everybody else with the front and back bumpers beat off. They said we were on TV while we were doing it, so I guess, doggone TV cameras (LAUGHS)"
ON LOSING PRACTICE TIME THIS AFTERNOON: "We are done anyway. They can park us for 15 minutes; they can park us for the rest of the day. We are done."
ON IF HAD BEEN TOLD PRIOR TO PRACTICE TO NOT HAVE CONTACT: "It is tough to say that monster is not created. Now, we just have to deal with it. We have created a monster with this car on a superspeedway and you are not going to keep... They wanted to punch a big hole in the car so the cars run closer at every race track. So, do they want them to run farther apart at a superspeedway? It is not going to happen. They designed the cars to run closer, but if you don't want contact, then you are going to have to penalize everyone that makes contacts.
"I think they made a general warned right at the beginning to everyone to stop using the front bumper. After that, I got hit probably 20, 30 times. Figured I would just keep doing what I was doing. I guess, right there at the end it was a little excessive."
-credit: gm racing