“You’re coming with me, buddy”: Denny Hamlin reveals the truth about fencing Ross Chastain at Phoenix

NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 - Practice
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, waits on the grid during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin reacted pretty sharply to Ross Chastain Fencing in Phoenix. Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain were dropped out of the top 10 and far below the top 20 after an incident in overtime at Phoenix Raceway. Currently, the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry driver has admitted that he purposefully walled his fellow Cup Series racers.

The fierce rivalry between Ross Chastain of Trackhouse Racing and Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing has been simmering for a while now. However, it appears the two drivers have come to a peace pact following an incident in the closing laps of Sunday (March 12)'s NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway, in which Hamlin and Chastain collided in the center of turns 1 and 2.

Even while Hamlin acknowledges that pushing Chastain into the wall wasn't an accident, it took a long time and numerous on-track events to get to this position, with Sunday's heated encounter on the final lap providing as the fuel for a good chat between the two drivers.

Hamlin was one of six drivers that changed just two tires during the last round of pit stops, which occurred under a late-race yellow following a spin by Harrison Burton.

During the March 13 episode of his podcast, "Actions Detrimental," Denny Hamlin explained why. Hamlin stated that his goal was to have the best possible finish on two tires. His race car, on the other hand, "was plowing" and he was seconds away from losing numerous positions to cars on four tires. He chose to take on Chastain.

Chris Gabehart, the crew chief of the No. 11 Toyota Camry TRD, communicated the news that there were 18 cars on the lead lap and that he was expected to pass the car on Newtiress very quickly, according to Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin said:

"My crew chief told me that there were 18 cars on the lead lap, at that point, I said, ‘All right, well, I’m probably — live looking at a picture — I’m probably running sixth or seventh. I’m about to get passed by everybody behind me who’s on fresh tires. I’m about to finish in the mid-teens."

He continued:

"And I said, ‘You’re coming with me, buddy.’ It wasn’t a mistake. No, it wasn’t a mistake. I let the wheel go, and I said, ‘He’s coming with me.'”

Chastain and Hamlin would finish 23rd and 24th, respectively, in Sunday's United Rentals Work United 500, costing each driver numerous points as they dropped from their top-10 positions.


Denny Hamlin and Chastain collide in the final laps of the Phoenix race

The never-ending rivalry continued on the penultimate lap of Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway, when Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain collided, spoiling each other's day.

After a grinding incident into the outside wall in turns 3 and 4 with two laps remaining, the two drivers who were racing for a top-five finish on the overtime restart finished 23rd and 24th, respectively.

NASCAR released footage from the in-car cameras of both Hamlin and Chastain in the final laps.

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Edited by Yash Singh
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