Denny Hamlin Reveals: Ricky Stenhouse's Pre-Race Text Sparks NASCAR Drama

"So, he’s stuck in the infield on his phone and he’s fuming.”- Hamlin said.

by Sead Dedovic
Denny Hamlin Reveals: Ricky Stenhouse's Pre-Race Text Sparks NASCAR Drama
© Sean Gardner/Getty Images Sport

The incident involving Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Busch has sparked a plethora of reactions among key figures in the NASCAR world, and some of the reactions are particularly interesting. A man who often shares his views on NASCAR events, Denny Hamlin, has once again reacted. The brilliant NASCAR driver addressed Stenhouse Jr.'s move on his 'Actions Detrimental' podcast, where Stenhouse Jr. decided to stay after the last race and confront Kyle Busch directly, considering him responsible for the wreck. 

Denny Hamlin could have been content finishing as P2, but he couldn't help but highlight his frustration with the events. Hamlin amused many by affirming that Stenhouse even took out his phone while they were still in the race, and via a group text including several NASCAR drivers, emphasized that he would confront Busch after the race.

“I didn’t realize that when I went back and looked — we have a group text and it’s me and Austin, it’s got JP and Jared, my buddy Greg and it’s got Ricky [Stenhouse] and Kyle Larson on it. He was letting us know while the race was going on [that] he’s gonna go after him [Busch]. So, of course I’m in the race so I don’t see it. But there’s others that are not in the race. So, he’s stuck in the infield on his phone and he’s fuming.”- Hamlin said, as quoted by On3!

Stenhouse Jr. was so frustrated that he even decided to be direct and reveal his stance on Busch after the race. The 36-year-old driver couldn't tolerate Busch's behavior, which has been going on for quite some time. Their conflict has been ongoing since Daytona, and it seems like Busch has been waiting for every opportunity to retaliate against Stenhouse Jr.

“I feel like Kyle, and I have always raced each other really hard back to the Nationwide Series when we were competing for wins week in and week out,” Stenhouse said. “Never had any issues. Then you know, I wrecked him one time at Daytona, and he’s been kinda bad mouthing me ever since then. I feel like we get along with each other okay outside the racetrack, I talk to him quite a bit."

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.© Sean Gardner/Getty Images Sport

Stenhouse explained that he wasn't sure why Busch was so upset. He mentioned that he made a move to go three-wide, but Busch ended up hitting the fence and then ran into him. Stenhouse felt that Busch's frustration might have been due to his constant criticism and comments about him. 

Stenhouse decided to take a little jab at Busch, considering his frustrations to be a result of poor form and performances lately. Kyle isn't really shining this season and is far from his top form. The question arises as to why Kyle made such a move; Is it a result of previous events, coincidence, or is there perhaps a third option?

Denny Hamlin reacts to Kyle Busch- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. conflict: Who is to blame?

Denny Hamlin then decided to give his opinion on the culprit in the whole incident. He believes it's very difficult to draw a conclusion when it comes to the conflict between these two. Denny is someone who tends to support Kyle Busch's driving style, emphasizing that Ricky is someone who often finds himself in such situations. Hamlin understands why Kyle decided to act the way he did.

“This is difficult. This is one of those difficult positions that I find myself in. Because I try not to pick sides, but I’ll call it how I see it. Let’s go back to the on-track stuff. I see both sides, however, my driving style supports a little more of Kyle’s side, because I believe that there are times where Ricky finds himself in these situations, because he puts himself in these situations. It is Lap 1. Did he shove through the middle of us? Yes. Did I have a problem with it? I did not. It is the All-Star Race. We just talked about it earlier. The drivers, you kind of understand that there’s a little bit more aggressiveness going on in this type of race. So I see Kyle’s side of it, ‘Dude, you shoved middle on a short-track on Lap 1. Like, where are you going?’ I see that part. I understand."- Denny Hamlin said.

Hamlin, on the other hand, understands Ricky's stance, which asserts that he never touched Busch until he hit the wall. Hamlin believes that contact was inevitable. He reiterated that Ricky found himself in a position where Kyle was going to have to lift, and if he didn't, contact would occur. Even though Kyle didn't lift, it was too late, Hamlin emphasized. However, he is someone who doesn't want to get involved in this conflict.

Denny Hamlin