One of the highest storylines to emerge out of the 2023 season was Denny Hamlin transitioning into the villain of NASCAR. Though his 18-year-long profession within the Cup Series hasn’t precisely been with out controversies, the previous racing yr topped all of them. Now that we’re within the offseason, Hamlin has spoken about what he thinks is the trigger for all of the hatred in the direction of him.
Conversing with Dale Earnhardt Jr, he cited his podcast “Actions Detrimental” as a motive and stated, “I have this platform to provide my opinion. A whole lot of it was [fan uproar] as a result of I am opinionated. I do imagine that I have extra followers than I have ever had. However, the counter Denny Hamlin followers, those who don’t like me in any respect, are louder than they’ve ever been.”
Denny Hamlin started “Actions Detrimental” on the onset of the season with assist from Dale Jr’s Dirty Mo Media. The platform has since enabled him to voice out his opinions on issues with the consolation that he by no means had earlier than. Agreeing with Hamlin’s take, Dale Jr stated, “I suppose folks have gotten to know you higher via the present. You can’t assist however study who someone actually is once they put themselves on the market like that.”
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As a results of his open expressions, Hamlin acquired booed at virtually each monitor that he raced at in 2023. But what led to this picture wasn’t simply his opinions on the podcast.
Denny Hamlin’s on-track shenanigans that didn’t sit properly with followers
Hamlin first acquired on the improper facet of a serious portion of the fandom when he bumped the golden boy Chase Elliott out of competition at Martinsville in 2017. As he continued inflicting extra such deliberate incidents on the monitor in recent times, issues blew out of proportion in 2023. This yr it was Kyle Larson who fell sufferer to him. Hamlin clashed with the Hendrick Motorsports star twice, in Kansas and in Pocono, to take the win a lot to the ire of followers.
What set them off greater than his wins had been his phrases that got here within the aftermath. He grinned on the jeers from the followers in Pocono, and said, “I find it irresistible.” Continuing the banter through the playoff night time at Bristol, he stated, “I beat your favourite driver — all of them.”
Love him or hate him, Denny Hamlin has acquired fairly too snug in his seat as a hated driver. There’s little doubt that he won’t lose an evening’s sleep over the jeers that he receives in 2024.