The Denny Hamlin vs. Chase Elliott rivalry started at Martinsville where Hamlin spun Elliott’s car with three laps remaining. Elliott was leading the race and was in prime position to pick up his elusive first victory in the Cup Series.
Two weeks later at Phoenix, Elliott made contact with Hamlin’s car, causing damage that eventually led to a flat tire, which resulted in Hamlin finishing 35th.
Now, Hamlin says he regrets the whole thing, and he made his remarks on the BarStool Sports podcast.
“What’s your biggest mistake you’re ever made during a race?” Hamlin was asked.
“Ah, it was last year,” Hamlin said at about the 41 minute mark. “Martinsville. In the playoffs. I accidentally wrecked the leader and it was a mistake. Definitely something I didn’t plan on doing, but it happened and it looked really bad.”
Hamlin went on to say that he apologized, but “it didn’t go over well, so it’s whatever now.”
He also had an interesting observation about the average fan driving a racecar.
“No casual fan would ever be able to get in a car and do it. Here’s what I say … impossible. You’re sitting in a car that’s 150 degrees for four hours you’re body is not trained for it. Forget it, you have no chance.”
And while this next answer wasn’t directly related to the above question, it does relate.
“The hardest part of driving a car is to drive it to the limit without wrecking. Even though it looks like the cars are stuck to the racetrack, we’re constantly sliding. Right now the Olympics are on, right? Say the men’s downhill, and they’re sliding down these corners, flying down the hill. It’s like that but you’re two inches away from your competitor. One slip up and you’re breaking your neck because you’re in a fence or you’re in a concrete wall. You’re on the edge. We’re not driving casually.”