Denny Hamlin’s bid to make the Championship 4 field by virtue of a clinching Martinsville Speedway victory instead of math boiled down to a final handful of laps and an untimely nudge from Alex Bowman in Sunday’s Xfinity 500.
Hamlin made the title field for a third consecutive year with a rocky 24th-place finish in the Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8 finale, avoiding elimination by eight points. But Bowman’s role as the antagonist with a Lap 493 bump that cost him a win drew Hamlin’s ire — both with post-checkered flag contact and sharp words in all subsequent interviews.
“He’s just a hack. Just an absolute hack,” said Hamlin, who led 103 of the 501 laps. “He gets his ass kicked by his teammates every week. He’s (expletive) terrible. He’s just terrible. He sees one opportunity, he takes it. Obviously he’s got the fast car of the week and he runs 10th. He didn’t want to race us there. We had a good, clean race. I moved up as high as I could on the race track to give him all the room I could, he still can’t drive.”
— NASCAR.com —