After mocking a move by Kyle Larson who rammed the two cars he owns into the wall at Talladega, Denny Hamlin entered Dover on Saturday in an awkward position: In a video posted to his Twitter account, Hamlin used a family guy gag that portrays a stereotype of Asian women and could easily have been interpreted as a shot at Larson’s ethnicity,.
After a week of fallout for Hamlin, Larson had the opportunity to offer his perspective on the matter. Speaking to reporters in Dover, Larson said he was not offended by Hamlin’s message, citing the friendship the two share. However, he noted that many others might have been offended by this and believes NASCAR did the right thing in response.
“Obviously it was just bad judgment on his part. And I think being in the position that we’re in, you have to be very careful about what you release to the public,” Larson said. “I know he’s going to learn a lot here over the next two weeks. I think we’re all ready to move on and focus on the race.
“…No hard feelings on my part. But I think after you post something you realize how offensive it can be.”
Hamlin posted a video linking Larson abruptly cutting outward without being clear, destroying the 23XI Racing cars of Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace in the process, with a cutaway gag from Family Guy in which an Asian woman states in broken English that she is crossing multiple lanes of traffic without using a turn signal. Larson is half-Japanese and the only Asian-American driver in the Cup Series.
Speaking for himself to reporters, Hamlin acknowledged his error in judgment and upheld NASCAR’s discipline for him.
“Someone gave it to me and I thought it was hilarious. But it’s also insensitive,” hamlin said. “I totally understand how some people might find that offensive. And if that’s one, then that’s one too many.”
Hamlin and Larson will start Sunday’s race at Dover in the top five, as.