Denny Hamlin Blasts Chase Briscoe for Aggressive Driving and SHR Driver Responds
Denny Hamlin and Chase Briscoe have a history. It started a couple of years ago at Indianapolis. It went quiet last year when Ross Chastain entered the chat.
In the exhibition Clash at the Coliseum, the aggression level dramatically increased from the race’s inaugural year when drivers were concerned about supply issues and the overall durability of the car. This week on Hamlin’s podcast, he addressed the chaotic driving and blasted the Stewart-Haas Racing driver for his part in it.
Briscoe has responded.
Denny Hamlin and Chase Briscoe have history
Two years ago, Denny Hamlin was in contention late on the Indianapolis Road Course when on the second restart in overtime, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver exited Turn 1 wide and forced Chase Briscoe into the grass. The then-rookie driver shortcut Turn 2 and rejoined the track behind the No. 11 car.
NASCAR issued the SHR driver a stop-and-go penalty. However, before he served it, he spun the JGR car and ended any chances at victory. Moments after the race, the pair convened on pit road, where Briscoe offered his side of the story while Hamlin listened.
“I agree it’s not on purpose, but my team told me that he had a penalty right away and to me, it’s obvious,” Hamlin said after the race. “If you cut the racetrack and end up in the lead, you’re going to have a penalty. Lack of awareness. Race me for a lap. He went right in the back of me. We can’t race that way. I don’t think he did it malicious. I’ve raced with him for a year now. He’s not that kind of person, just bad judgment.”
That was then.
Hamlin blasts Briscoe for aggressive driving
This week on his Actions Detrimental podcast, Hamlin revisited the exhibition Clash, his sentiment had notably changed from a couple of years ago, and his choice of words did not include “not on purpose” or “bad judgment.” In fact, it was just the opposite.
“Some of those wrecks, you can tell when someone’s egregious,” Hamlin said. “They lay into whoever they’re laying into. They don’t attempt to slow down. They don’t attempt to give the person a chance to collect it. They just piledrive them into whoever is in front of them and say f*** it, whatever happens, happens.
“I watched the 14 — I’m not s***ting you — I watched him just drive in and make no attempt to even make the corner multiple times. I saw this, by the way, at the Indy Road Course as well. There’s something that Chase is doing where he’s just giving no regard to anybody that’s in front of him and he’s just saying f*** you and f*** the consequences. That just kind of rubs me a little bit wrong, and I’m like, man, they need to just stop that bulls***.”
Several days after the podcast, Hamlin and Briscoe met with the media ahead of the Daytona 500. During his visit with reporters, the SHR driver was questioned about the three-time Daytona winner’s remarks on his aggressive driving.
“I didn’t listen. I didn’t feel like I was like that at all, personally. I felt like a lot of guys were,” Briscoe said. “I got into Tyler (Reddick), I think, one time, but I definitely feel like the whole field, to a certain extent, was kind of like that just because you can’t pass.
“Like that’s literally the only way you can pass so it just turns into rental go-kart races essentially, where you just go in there and blast the guy in front of you and move him out of the way because it’s literally impossible to get to the guy’s bumper unless you just drive through them.
“So it’s so tight like the guy in front of you you can never catch him so you just overdrive the corner, hit him, and pass him. I felt like if you were in the top five at the Clash, it was fairly clean. From sixth on back it was just chaos and everybody wrecking each other. There was definitely a lot of beating and banging. I felt like me and Denny raced well. I know he was behind me for like 20 laps and I was waiting for him to drive through me. He never did and Ross wrecked him.”
Briscoe’s last remarks are interesting because he notes how Hamlin had a chance to drive through him but didn’t, while Chastain rekindled his old rivalry with the JGR driver.
The 2023 season officially gets underway on Sunday in Daytona and by the sounds of it, Hamlin could have a couple of rivalries and plenty to talk about on his podcast this year.