Danica Patrick and Denny Hamlin revisited a tense exchange from 2015.
After crashing in practice, Hamlin bumped the back of Patrick’s vehicle during a duel race at Daytona International Speedway. Patrick later confronted Hamlin, grabbed him with both hands, and asked, “What are you doing?”
Seven years later, Patrick invited Hamlin on her Pretty Intense podcast (h/t NESN) to ask why he liked crashing her car so much.
“I was aggressive, for sure, but usually when I crash my friends, it’s only because I’m trying to help,” Hamlin said, leading Patrick to sarcastically quip that she wanted to enter the Daytona 500 with her second backup car.
Hamlin called it “a relief” that Patrick still qualified, and he decided he had to “sit here and take it” when he saw Patrick rushing at him.
“I knew that you’re yelling at me because you care, and you’re yelling at me because you’re comfortable enough around me to voice your opinion and you know me enough that I will take it and hear it.”
During the altercation, Hamlin told Patrick that her car was “loose.” Patrick asked if he still felt the same way.
“I do think your cars were too loose, yes. … The (only) way I can make you go faster is by pushing you, and if I can’t push you, then I’m not going to help you,” Hamlin said. “I’m just gonna try to dump you every chance that I get. I always try to push people that I feel like are very stable, their cars are stable, and I can hit them without them spinning out.”
Hamlin said he “wanted to help,” but acknowledged it was “just a mistake.”