As a part of his interview with Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports, Denny Hamlin talked about his career as well as the teammates he had over the course of his career. The relationships he had with some of his teammates were great, and with others, it wasn't so good.
Hamlin nevertheless maintained good relations with his teammates, especially because of his team, which is necessary for going forward. Moreover, he also found that cooperating with people he knew off the track was not the same as cooperating with people he hung out with in his free time.
“It always is difficult to navigate on-track stuff with people that you have off-the-track relationships with because your team doesn’t care about that. Your team doesn’t care that you guys went to dinner last night.
They care, like, we just spent overtime hours getting this car ready, we’re giving it our all, we’ve trained two-a-days on pit stops, we’ve gotten better — are you going to give everything you can to win this race for us or not? And if you don’t, then it’s really, really hard to keep them behind you."- Hamlin said.
Denny Hamlin on not being a 'great teammate'
Hamlin thinks he's a good teammate, but not a great one. At certain moments, his desire to win and his desire to help the team "damage" such friendships. Having a team behind him will be a source of motivation and support for him.
“So I think I’m a good teammate. I’m not a great teammate. I’ve never been a great teammate because I’m too selfish. I want to win for myself and my team too much. And sometimes that puts strains on relationships I have with friends off the track.
And so hopefully everyone understands that I’m just trying to do everything I can any weekend to win for my team because it means more to me to keep them behind me than anyone else”.