After being fined $25,000 for his comments after the second race of the Sprint Cup Series season at Phoenix, Denny Hamlin said that he wouldn’t pay the fine that NASCAR levied against him and he would appeal the decision.
On Thursday, Hamlin stood by his decision not to pay the fine but said he was not going to appeal. Hamlin was fined for what NASCAR viewed were critical comments of its new race car and the quality of the racing at Phoenix.
After a lot of thought I have decided not to appeal the fine NASCAR has issued,” Hamlin tweeted Thursday afternoon. “Dragging myself, my team and NASCAR through the mud for the next 2 weeks would not be good for anyone. I firmly believe I am in the right on this issue and will stand behind my decision not to pay. I understand NASCAR will do what they feel is necessary based on my decision. Thanks to all of my fans and peers who have supported me in this decision. I look forward to putting it to rest.”
It’s great to see Hamlin take a stand, especially for those of us who were against the idea of Hamlin getting fined in the first place, but he’s going to end up paying the fine one way or another after NASCAR issued a statement shortly after Hamlin’s tweet.
“NASCAR announced today that the $25,000 fine assessed to driver Denny Hamlin on March 7 will be settled per Section 12-3 of the 2013 NASCAR rule book after being informed by Hamlin that he will not appeal the penalty,” the statement read. “Hamlin was fined after the sanctioning body determined he had violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing). NASCAR considers this matter closed.”
That likely means Hamlin will have the fine garnished from future winnings. While the possibility of an appeal process for Hamlin’s statements would have been intriguing, I have to think that this decision doesn’t change what would have been the ultimate outcome. Given that the case isn’t the most objective of ones, it would have been hard to envision Hamlin winning his appeal.