Denny Hamlin has dropped his plan to appeal a $25,000 fine for making disparaging… (Todd Warshaw / Getty Images )
Denny Hamlin dropped his plan to appeal a $25,000 fine that was levied by NASCAR after Hamlin complained about the Sprint Cup Series' new "Gen 6" race car.
"After a lot of thought I have decided not to appeal the fine," Hamlin, who drives the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, said Thursday on Twitter.
"Dragging myself, my team and NASCAR through the mud for the next 2 weeks would not be good for anyone," even though "I firmly believe I am in the right on this issue," Hamlin tweeted.
NASCAR said it was told Hamlin would not contest the fine and "considers this matter closed."
After finishing third in the Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway on March 3, Hamlin said it was difficult to pass in the new car and that, so far, the new car did not race as well as its predecessor.
NASCAR slapped him with the fine, saying his "disparaging remarks" broke the rules prohibiting actions that are "detrimental" to the sport.
Many NASCAR fans felt otherwise, saying on Twitter and elsewhere that NASCAR had overreacted to Hamlin's comments and that they supported the driver's stance.
The next Cup race is Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. The series then returns to Southern California for a March 24 race Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
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