The winner of a NASCAR race is supposed to be determined by the driver’s ability to maneuver his car at the front of the pack and stay there until the checkered flag. On Saturday night at Richmond, Denny Hamlin was doing just that for 386 laps leading 385 of them. On lap 386, his right front tire leaked and began to roll back like a brick, opening the way for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch to battle for the lead.
Jr started to open up a more than a second lead over Kyle Busch and it looked like he had the race well controlled with just 6 laps to go. Hamlin, rather than pit and leave the track, decided to take matters into his own hands to try to determine who should be the winner of the race. When his tire finally blew out, he climbed to the top of the race track and came to a stop, causing caution to be flailed and driving Jr back to Busch for a restart.
On the restart at turn three, Busch and Jr were side by side when clearly in reps you can see that Busch’s tires swung sharply to the right and entered Jr’s car, spinning Jr as Busch passed. quickly, but not before Clint Bowyer had passed them both. them at the bottom to win the race. Busch, in post-race interviews, claimed it was a tough race and thought Jr had really sunk into it.
This answer is not supported otherwise by video playback and the fact that in recent races Busch has intentionally pushed drivers out of their way or verbally threatened them after the race to do the same if next time. they don’t budge when the king is coming brings doubt to all the racing fans here to believe any self defense response he might throw up. Busch’s mishap with Jr probably never would have happened had it not been for Hamlin’s poor decision to try and fix the race to his liking. This is why NASCAR slapped Denny on the wrist with a 2-lap penalty, but at the time it meant nothing to Hamlin.
NASCAR continues to sit back and let Busch behave like a bully in a schoolyard and continually tarnish the image that NASCAR has worked so hard in recent years to repair. A Fox Sports commentator was quoted as saying it will take a long, long time for the Junior nation to forgive Busch for this tumult. I’d like to go a step further and say that it will take a long, long time for all true NASCAR fans, no matter who they ask to forgive not only Busch but Hamlin and NASCAR as well.
Tough racing, unintended setbacks, and true competitiveness is what the fan spends their hard-earned money on when they come to watch a race, not the drivers they see they can’t win, so choose to do something stupid and intentional for your partner. team can win. . Hopefully NASCAR officials will stand up in the future and harshly criticize any driver, regardless of who they are, if they are caught intentionally trying to fix the outcome of a race. Oh and by the way, a good cut of raw steak over those black eyes will reduce puffiness.