Thursday afternoon brought a quick - yet untidy - resolution to the standoff between NASCAR and driver Denny Hamlin over the $25,000 penalty assessed to Hamlin for making what NASCAR considered "disparaging remarks" about the on-track competition following the Sprint Cup race two weeks ago at Phoenix.
Hamlin on Thursday dropped plans to appeal the penalty but still vowed not to pay the fine. NASCAR will instead, per its rulebook, take the money from Hamlin's race winnings or points fund earnings.
Statement from Hamlin:
"After a lot of thought I have decided not to appeal the fine NASCAR has issued. Dragging myself, my team and NASCAR through the mud for the next 2 weeks would not be good for anyone. I firmly believe I am in the right on this issue and will stand behind my decision not to pay. I understand NASCAR will do what they feel is necessary based on my decision. Thanks to all of my fans and peers who have supported me in this decision. I look forward to putting it to rest."
"NASCAR announced today that the $25,000 fine assessed to driver Denny Hamlin on
March 7 will be settled per Section 12-3 of the 2013 NASCAR rule book after
being informed by Hamlin that he will not appeal the penalty. Hamlin was fined
after the sanctioning body determined he had violated Section 12-1 (actions
detrimental to stock car racing). NASCAR considers this matter closed."