DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 14: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France (L) congratulates NASCAR Series Cup driver Denny Hamlin on selection to NASCAR's 75 Greatest Drivers list prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway on May 14, 2023 in Darlington, South Carolina.
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin Takes Shots at NASCAR CEO

Denny Hamlin had an interesting weekend at Daytona. He ended Monday's Daytona 500 with a pretty quiet 19th-place finish after getting caught up in one of the late incidents.

Though he didn't make much noise in the race, Hamlin made some noise on the new episode of his podcast, "Actions Detrimental."

He had plenty of controversy to talk about, as he had some interesting takes on all that went down at the season-opening race.

Hamlin had some takes about how the 500 ended, but his hottest take had to do with NASCAR's CEO, Jim France. Hamlin revealed during the podcast that a very important meeting was held among the sport's top owners.

That meeting included Rick Hendrick, Roger Penske and Michael Jordan, who co-owns 23XI Racing with Hamlin. According to Hamlin, that meeting discussed a major subject: the ongoing charter negotiations — or, rather, lack of movement on NASCAR's part in the negotiations.

The impression given by Hamlin was that France had been invited to the meeting as well but failed to make an appearance, which rubbed many the wrong way, including Hamlin.

"I do know that the team owners met on Saturday. I was there," Hamlin said. "The invitation was extended to Jim France (NASCAR CEO) who was in town. But he declined that invitation."

That seems to be where things lie between the sport and its teams. It certainly didn't make Hamlin very happy.

"I think it's disappointing. I can't think of a league or an owner of a league or a commissioner that would decline meeting with his team owners," Hamlin said. "That's very disappointing. And all I think the teams are wondering is, 'You said no over and over and over to us. We're just looking for an explanation of why, and we haven't got that why yet other than it just is.'"

Hamlin took a cautious approach in his remarks. He didn't want to get into trouble for his comments on such an important matter, but he certainly didn't put the sport's CEO in a very positive light.

Ironically, Hamlin previously praised NASCAR President Steve Phelps. So, it's interesting, to say the least, why there is a disconnect between the sport and its teams.

Whatever issues are going on, the CEO avoiding a meeting with the teams doesn't seem very promising for the future of NASCAR.

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