NASCAR Veterans Open Up About Aggressive Tactics on the Raceway

by Joe Rutland
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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that NASCAR veterans are having to deal with a lot of aggressive tactics and moves these days. Case in point: the move that Ross Chastain put on AJ Allmendinger to win at the Circuit of The Americas. Well, veteran drivers of the NASCAR Cup Series are speaking out while Chastain stands firm in what he did.

NASCAR Veterans Aren’t Too Pleased With New Style of Ruthless Aggression

Remember when drivers would make efforts on the track as part of the day? Hmm, that’s getting a new standard. Denny Hamlin, though, is speaking out. He’s saying that there are no consequences to the new ruthless aggression out there.

“We’ve seen you can kind of do whatever,” he said at Richmond this weekend. “You might be worried about getting wrecked here and there in the future, but I think it’s just become accepted.

“The art of passing is just something that isn’t quite used as much nowadays,” Hamlin said. “The easier route is getting them out of your way as quick as possible by moving them. I’ve done it — every time I’ve done it, it has been unintentional, but I think it’s become more of an intentional move in the years lately.”

Denny Hamlin Remembers Getting Bumped Out By Alex Bowman

He speaks from experience. In 2021, Hamlin was leading late in the fall at famed Martinsville Speedway. All he needed was a win there to enter into the Championship 4. Alex Bowman, though, moved him out of the way with seven laps left. Hamlin went spinning and ended up finishing 24th. Yes, Hamlin still got a spot there but the principle of it burned him up.

“I think the win at all costs, they have seen it is worth it because there really isn’t any cost,” Hamlin said. “I got spun out of the lead in two races last year, one cost us the championship. (And) I haven’t done anything about it.” We get more from NASCAR.com.

Martin Truex Jr., Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, recalled a recent flight with Kevin Harvick. Both of them were talking about how young drivers take no issue with running into each other on the track from the start. Truex noted that a key difference could be the way the next generation has learned to race. That contrasts with how he, Hamlin, and other veterans were brought up in the motorsports world.

“I know when I was making my way through the ranks I was working, I was building my cars,” Truex said. “I didn’t want to tear the nose off of the thing because I knew I had to fix it on Monday. (And) I had to keep the car in one piece.”

Outsider.com