After his win at Richmond Raceway, Denny Hamlin lamented aggressiveness and lack of respect in new generation drivers.
The Joe Gibbs driver is very vocal about the different issues in NASCAR and one of the things that he is concerned with is the attitude of the new generation of NASCAR drivers.
Hamlin’s comments come in light of Trackhouse Racing Team’s Ross Chastain’s first career win just a week before Hamlin won at Richmond. More specifically, it was Chastain’s move on A.J. Allmendinger that provoked Hamlin to reflect on the attitude of the drivers.
“The newer, younger generation that came in, it just seems like they are more aggressive,” Hamlin stated. “Now, more aggressive is fine, but I think it’s just — you could talk about a much bigger subject here of like just the lack of respect that people have for each other nowadays. All you have to do is log on Twitter to find that.”
Hamlin is not too far-fetched to point out the hatred that is shared on Twitter these days. However, the JGR No. 11 driver admitted that the veteran drivers also make mistakes due to the aggressive nature in the race tracks.
“When we feel like there’s a barrier between us, people talk a lot of stuff,” he continued. “And when you’re in a car and you don’t have to answer to that person face to face, you’re willing to do things that you wouldn’t if you had to answer to it. And I think in the past, what happened is, you got wrecked or knocked out of the way, you’d get your front teeth knocked out.”
“Nowadays, crew members protect their guys, and it’s very corporate, very different sport than what it used to be,” he explained. “So these young guys feel like — and it’s not always young guys, us old veterans, we make our mistakes too — but they’re just more aggressive in thinking that, ‘Hey, the risk is worth the reward because the reward is winning, the risk is, eh, I might get a little backlash here and there and I might have to worry about that guy wrecking me in the future.’ But people just think it’s worth it nowadays.”
The situation also made many people make comparisons between NASCAR and WWE and how much a rider is an entertainer. Emotions are a big factor in races, especially when it involves making an aggressive move to win the race just like Chastain did. But nonetheless, it is important to not lose respect of other drivers just in pursuit of one’s goals.