Skip to main content

Denny Hamlin Reacts to NASCAR's Decision After Controversial Tweet

NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA - APRIL 23: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx All in for Small Business Toyota, waits on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 23, 2022 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin was required to complete sensitivity training for a racially insensitive tweet that he posted and deleted on Monday.

The tweet featured a clip from “Family Guy” that showed a female Asian driver cutting off cars without signaling. Kyle Larson’s name was superimposed over the clip.

Larson, who’s mother is Japanese American, caused a major crash during the GEICO 500 this past Sunday — cutting off Kurt Busch on the final turn of the race. The crash took out Busch and Bubba Wallace, both members of 23XI Racing: the team Hamlin co-owns.

On Saturday, Hamlin shared his thoughts on NASCAR's punishment.

"My reaction to the negative, they just didn't understand what I was doing there. [I was] just placing a joke," he explained, per NASCAR insider Bob Pockrass. "... I respect [NASCAR's] decision. I understand where they're at with it. I've done my own sensitivity training. I did diversity training on my own when I started this race team... I understand it all. I don't think this fell into that category."

“I thought it was hilarious, but it also is insensitive," he added. "I definitely understand how some people could find it offensive. If it’s one, then it’s one too many.”

Hamlin apologized for the tweet after he deleted it on Monday.

“I took down a post I made earlier today after reading some of the comments. It was a poor choice of memes and I saw how it was offensive. It came across totally wrong. I apologize,” he wrote.

Hamlin finished with the second-best qualifying time for tomorrow's Cup Series Race at Dover. Kyle Larson came in just behind him at No. 3.