Denny Hamlin: I almost feel like the 0.001 is just a made up number at this point

The race in Kansas sparked various controversies, and Denny Hamlin decided to react

by Sead Dedovic
Denny Hamlin: I almost feel like the 0.001 is just a made up number at this point
© Sean Gardner/Getty Images Sport

Denny Hamlin, like many others, has certain doubts regarding Kansas and the photo finish. Namely, Kyle Larson secured the victory, but interestingly, Larson was faster by 0.001. They're not entirely convinced of this despite the photos presented by NASCAR. 

During his Actions Detrimental podcast, Hamlin decided to comment on the recent race, unsure if the 0.001 is indeed the accurate outcome. Denny Hamlin confirmed that on his bus, the display showed 0.000. Hamlin believes that things aren't fair, considering the photograph isn't a true indicator of the result.

“I almost feel like the 0.001 is just a made up number at this point. Like, how can they say it’s 0.001, if the electronics say the other way around? [It showed 0.000] on my bus, as well. I have timing and scoring in my bus, right by my couch, so I can kind of watch races and watch lap times, and pay attention to some things. It said triple zeros on mine, as well. That’s what I’m saying. I think it’s just made up. … You can’t tell time by a by a single photo. You can’t."-Hamlin said, as quoted by On3

Denny Hamlin suggests that although we perceive a difference of an inch, it's difficult to accurately measure such a small margin. He questions whether the timing and scoring system truly indicated a difference of 0.001 seconds or if it was simply rounded up to appear closer. 

If the system had shown triple zeros, indicating a tie, it would have been more straightforward. However, by adding the one on the end, it implies a closer finish without officially calling it a tie. Hamlin acknowledges that the race was incredibly close but implies uncertainty about the accuracy of the timing.

Although NASCAR confirmed they had previously shown what the difference is, Hamlin isn't sure how accurate the photo is as an exact indicator of the outcome. Chris Buescher would certainly be happy if things turned out differently, but it's hard to expect that it will actually be so. This NASCAR race was an indicator of how thrilling NASCAR can be, and what situations it can present to us. The question is when we will experience a similar situation again.

Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin© James Gilbert/Getty Images Sport

NASCAR Cup Series managing director Brad Moran had to publicly address and resolve uncertainties among NASCAR officials, staff, and drivers, as well as fans seeking an explanation of the latest race. Moran explained on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that they do not use a painted line to determine the winner, but rather a laser line. This is the method used to determine the race winner in the best possible way.

They’re very close to the same but we don’t go off the accuracy of a painter that paints a line on the racetracks. It’s for a visual for the fans, for the teams to get a visual, but when we get talking this close, we make sure finishes are right like many other sports. We have a laser line that is pencil thin, and this camera takes anywhere from 4,000 to 20,000 frames per second, and that’s how close it is that we see at the start/finish line."-Moran said.

Moran highlighted the fact that NASCAR tracks feature diverse textures in both asphalt and concrete surfaces. Although the specific line in question wasn't quite misaligned, NASCAR maintains strict criteria for determining the winner of a Cup Series race, or any race within their competitions.

NASCAR officials have frequently affirmed their readiness for change to improvethe NASCAR system, particularly concerning driver safety. It's likely that they will continue to work on this aspect in the future, especially considering that such races are rare and often provoke controversies and a significant number of reactions. The key figures within NASCAR certainly do not want to witness scenarios where criticisms are pouring in constantly.

Although explanations have been provided, it appears that some still find them insufficient, believing that NASCAR is manipulating the results.

Brad Moran: Kansas is one of the best races in the history of NASCAR

Moran has no doubt that the race in Kansas is likely one of the best races in the history of this sport. It's not just the finish that impressed Moran, but also the start of the race. The last lap was particularly exciting, with many drivers battling it out, including the contact that occurred between 5 and 17. 

He had only words of praise for Larson, who once again impressed everyone with his skills and race. 

Furthermore, Buescher also delighted, and there really isn't much else to say except that he absolutely had no luck. 

Moran confirmed that through the cameras, they determined Larson's advantage to be 0.0001s, which is the closest finish in the history of this sport. Fans hope that we will witness more races like this in the future, considering that this is truly a rarity.

Denny Hamlin