Denny Hamlin Says ‘Maybe Richard Petty Was Right’ in Reference to NASCAR Dirt Races

by Will Shepard
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On Sunday, March 28, NASCAR is putting on a race at Bristol Motor Speedway with a dirt track. Denny Hamlin, for one, is echoing a sentiment that Richard Petty shared about five months ago.

Tomorrow’s race is certainly going to be exciting for fans. There will undoubtedly be entertainment galore. The race will be 250 laps around the Bristol dirt racetrack with a limited amount of fans. Denny Hamlin is currently leading the Cup Series and is hoping to get a win tomorrow.

For those fans, this is a unique experience that NASCAR is hoping to bring. Most likely, the sport is hoping the show will bring in new and old fans for the spectacle. The sport is going back to its roots for this race.

However, there seems to be a lot of people concerned about what is going to happen with the race. Denny Hamlin is certainly one of those people.

Richard Petty, was once one of the best dirt racetrack drivers until the sport stopped doing them. However, he is not pleased to see it back. Denny Hamlin apparently feels the same way about the race making a return.

Denny Hamlin Echoes Richard Petty’s Sentiment About Racing on Dirt Tracks

In an interview with Autoweek, Richard Petty said that racing on the dirt was a forgettable experience. He explains how the team was not prepared for the race.

“That was a different time, and I think we all knew that after Raleigh that night, there weren’t going to be any more dirt-track races. We knew it was the last one that [48-race] season and we sort of already knew there wouldn’t be anymore the next season. [Petty Enterprises] didn’t even have a dirt-track car at that time; all of ours were set up for asphalt. We used a Plymouth we’d sold to Jabe Thomas earlier in the year. His owner, Don Robertson, let us use of one his cars that night. Really, I don’t remember much about the race itself.”

Additionally, he said that all of the drivers were in the same boat about the race not happening again. Denny Hamlin’s tweet is specifically mentioning these comments about dirt track racing.

“I have to be careful here because there’s some politics involved, and I don’t want to annihilate NASCAR on this. I guess I’m looking at it from an old-time deal because we spent years and years and years trying to become a professional sport. Years and years to get away from that stigma [that racing wasn’t professional]. But dirt-track racing is not professional, so we’re going backward. It would be like taking a professional football team and going back to play at a high school field.”

Richard Petty Is Definitely Not a Fan of This Coming Race

Richard Petty certainly was not holding his words back about dirt track racing. Denny Hamlin’s small thought from Twitter is re-igniting the whole conversation surrounding the race. But again, Petty, in that same interview, continued to share his thoughts about the Bristol race.

“I think it’ll be exciting at Bristol that day. It might be another gimmick. It might be what NASCAR needs to keep our base growing. But it won’t be anything like the dirt track we had at Raleigh. In that one, there were big holes in the track, and it was rough, and you had to drive around those holes. The dirt tracks today turn into asphalt tracks; once you race on ’em a while, they just turn into slick asphalt tracks. But cars will be going sideways in the corners, and that’s what people want to see.”

Hopefully, Denny Hamlin and NASCAR are far better prepared for the dirt tracks this time around. But, his tweet seems to say enough about his feelings on tomorrow’s race.

Outsider.com