Denny Hamlin will never forget the 2022 Pocono Cup Series race. His 23XI Racing driver Kurt Busch sat out due to concussion-like symptoms from a vicious hit the day before in qualifying. Hamlin tagged the wall on the first lap. He got payback on Ross Chastain. And he led the most important lap.
Then he didn’t.
NASCAR’s disqualification of Hamlin and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch was a massive bombshell, blowing up the finishes of the top two cars and producing more questions than answers. After the shocking news, the three-time Daytona 500 winner responded to the DQ a couple of times on social media. Interestingly, one of his questionable comments mysteriously disappeared.
Denny Hamlin gets disqualified at Pocono
When Denny Hamlin crossed the finish line at Pocono for his third win of the season, the NBC broadcast crew talked about the significance of his achievement. It was his 49th Cup win, tying him with NASCAR Hall of Famer and former teammate Tony Stewart, and he had broken the tie with Jeff Gordon to become the all-time winningest Cup driver at Pocono with seven victories.
A few hours later, all of those accomplishments were null and void when NASCAR disqualified the Nos. 11 and 18 after officials had discovered violations on both cars during postrace inspection.
“Yeah, unfortunately we were doing our postrace inspections, which we do. There was some issues discovered that affect aero of the vehicle,” Cup Series Managing Director Brad Moran told reporters. “The part was the front fascia. There really was no reason why there was some material that was somewhere it shouldn’t have been, and that does basically come down to a DQ.”
Hamlin responds on Twitter to disqualification
Immediately following the race and celebratory burnout, Denny Hamlin was joined on the track by his oldest daughter Taylor, who got visibly emotional seeing her dad win and listening to the boos rain down from the stands. She eventually collected the checkered flag, hopped into his car, and rode with him to Victory Lane.
After the race, NASCAR tweeted a photo of Taylor jubilantly celebrating her dad’s win with arms raised in the air — one hand signaling the No. 1 sign and the other firmly clutching the flag.
“Wholesome content,” NASCAR tweeted. “Taylor isn’t forgetting this one any time soon.”
Following the disqualification, Hamlin replied to the photo.
“Yeah, good luck getting that back,” he wrote, suggesting his daughter would not be returning the flag.
Takes a different tone on Instagram
While Hamlin replied to NASCAR’s tweet with a simple response, he also posted on Instagram and took a dramatically different tone. In a reel that featured photos and videos and provided a timeline of his day at Pocono, which included him running Ross Chastain into the outside wall on a late restart and doing his burnout, he saved the most interesting one for last. It was a photo of a tweet from 2019 when he got disqualified in an Xfinity Series race at Darlington.
“F*!^n tech gods,” Hamlin originally wrote.
Interestingly, the photo of the tweet was later removed and replaced with a picture of the driver with his arm around his daughter, comforting her after the race.
“Can take the memories away,” the driver said.
What a memorable day it was.