Denny Hamlin revealed that he wasn’t aggressive enough towards the end of the Bristol dirt race, however he only wanted to race Joey Logano fairly for the victory.
The last stage of the race came down to an overtime attempt, and a single-file one at that. NASCAR officials made that choice at lap 170 because of visibility issues due to excessive dust. Denny No. 11 was on Logano’s No.22 bumper for the final restart, instead of following the leader (Logano) on the bottom into Turn 1, Hamlin went to the outside, trying to power his way through.
“I should have just shoved him out,” Hamlin said. “When I had position on the bottom, I should have just moved up and got him in the dust and got rid of him. But I just wanted to pass him clean. I didn’t (move him), so I didn’t win.”
“I had an opportunity to choose whether I was going to make a move on the high side or the low side,” Hamlin said. “I chose high, and the track was just too slick up there at the time. He didn’t get a very good restart. I was on him entering Turn 1. That tells me if I can start beside him, then I had an opportunity there to be ahead of him getting in (Turn) 1.
“But it is what it is. We all had to adapt. We knew after halfway or so when they changed it that was going to be the rule for the rest of the race. Those are the cards we’re dealt.”
Denny Hamlin finished 3rd to Joey Logano and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. When his move into Turn 1 didn’t work as planned.