Denny Hamlin has taken to Twitter to issue an apology to Kyle Larson after a post from the #11 driver’s account. Why has Hamlin apologised to Larson?
NASCAR Cup races at Talladega usually end with a final lap where at least one car is wrecked, battered as someone else heads to victory lane.
The longest track in Cup at 2.66 miles, there is never a dull finish as drivers look to break the timing beam first.
On Sunday for the 2022 spring race, it was no different as Erik Jones in the iconic #43 led the field onto the final lap.
In the tri-oval, things kicked off as Kyle Larson swerved up the track to throw a block.
This caused a wreck involving both 23XI Racing cars as Ross Chastain came through for his second win of the season for Trackhouse Racing.
The incident caused Denny Hamlin to tweet a clip from Family Guy criticising Kyle Larson.
But why was Hamlin now apoologised to Larson for using the clip?
Denny Hamlin Kyle Larson
Hamlin was in the leading gaggle in his #11 Joe Gibbs machine, but fuel pressure problems dropped him out of contention with a handful of laps to go.
Approaching the chequered flag, the 23XI Racing cars of Bubba Wallace and Kurt Busch made a move to the outside.
Larson, in the centre in the #5 Hendrick machine then flicked right to block – but this ended with both 23XI entries suffering hard crashes into the wall, with Wallace taking some moments to catch his breath after climbing out of the #23.
Hamlin, along with NBA icon Michael Jordan is the co-owner of 23XI Racing.
On Monday 25th April, Hamlin tweeted a clip from ‘Family Guy.’
Overlaid on the short clip was Kyle Larson’s name where an Asian driver cuts across multiple lanes of traffic, causing various accidents.
Hamlin noted he found it funny as he now faces a big repair bill for the damage inflicted on the #23 and #45.
However, the clip is deemed to be offensive and racist to Asian people – with Larson a Japanese-American.
Hamlin issues apology
The tweet in question has been deleted by Denny Hamlin, who issued an apology to Kyle Larson on Tuesday.
“I took down a post I made earlier today after reading some of the comments,” wrote the triple-Daytona 500 winner.
“It was a poor choice of memes… and it came across totally wrong. I apologise.”
While NASCAR itself has not yet commented on the Denny Hamlin/Kyle Larson tweet, Hamlin could face sensitivity training.
As part of NASCAR’s push for greater diversity and equality, each driver needed to complete a round of sensitivity training.
In 2021, Hamlin’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing Kyle Busch was fined and given said training after referring to another driver as the r-word following a clash late on at Martinsville in the semi-final Playoff eliminator.
Both Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson are already locked into the 2022 NASCAR Playoffs having claimed wins at Richmond and Fontana, respectively.