Standoff: Watch NASCAR's Hamlin Rage About Being Robbed of Victory After Bowman Knocks Him Out
03:40 GMT 01.11.2021 (Updated: 13:25 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Wade PayneDenny Hamlin (11) prevents Alex Bowman (48) from doing a celebratory burnout after a NASCAR Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Martinsville, Va.
© AP Photo / Wade Payne
Bowman, 28, who had already been knocked out of the playoffs, lost his grip while attempting to get through on the inside line and accidently collided with Hamlin, spinning him out.
Racer Alex Bowman won the NASCAR Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway after knocking his counterpart Denny Hamlin out of contention with seven laps to go as they battled for the lead.
On the restart, Bowman held off other racers Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski to win, putting an end to their aspirations of capturing the title at next week's final in Phoenix.
Just as Bowman was about to do a victory burnout, Hamlin, 40, pulled his Toyota in front of his Chevrolet. As Bowman passed him and turned 180 degrees, Hamlin slammed his car's nose into Bowman's and began forcing it backwards.
Hamlin also gave his opponent two middle fingers, while a water bottle flew into Hamlin's car, apparently from the spectator section.
On the radio, Hamlin's crew chief could be heard warning him, "Be smart. Big picture. Big picture," before he took a step back and drove away.
Speaking after the race with reporters, Bowman claimed that he "hated doing it."
"I don't want to crash somebody and I just got in, got loose underneath him and spun him out," he added while noting, "He's been on the other side of that. He's crashed guys here for wins."
Indeed, many users pointed out in the comment section that Hamlin himself has in the past not shied away from using such tactics to win, knocking out his direct rival from a lap in 2017.
Well, in his turn, after finishing in 24th place, Hamlin did not mince words in a post-race interview broadcast live on NBC.
"He's just a hack, he's just an absolute hack. He gets his a*s kicked by his teammates every week," Hamlin said. "He's just terrible. He's just f*cking terrible. I moved up as high as I could on the race track and he still can't drive."
Despite this, Hamlin qualified for the championship by finishing in fourth place on points, ahead of Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr., who finished fourth and punched his ticket to the final next Sunday at Phoenix Raceway, where he won in March.