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Kevin Harvick declares Denny Hamlin doesn't get enough appreciation as a NASCAR driver

Stephen Samraby:Steve Samra03/30/24


Denny Hamlin © Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Hamlin © Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Harvick believes his former competitor on the track in Denny Hamlin doesn’t receive the respect he deserves from fans, media members and others alike.

During the latest episode of Harvick’s Happy Hour, Hamlin sat down for an interview with the aforementioned Harvick, where the former NASCAR champion decided to heap some serious praise on the wheelman of the No. 11 Toyota.

“I’m gonna give you some props here, because I don’t think people give you the credit that you deserve, for your knowledge of the sport. The amount of work that you put into your craft, and what you do,” Harvick said, complimenting his former peer behind the wheel. “And I think when — we get a lot of questions, and you get a lot of publicity about wearing a black hat, and people not liking you and this and that. But the thing to me, that is the most overlooked thing about you and Chris [Gabehart] right now, is the work ethic and time that goes into this.

“You started 23XI. You have a lot of things going on. But it seems like you can juggle all these balls,  and be able to perform in the car. It’s inevitable, that when you plug yourself into the car, there’s not going to be any distractions, and that’s tough to do.”

Evidently, Harvick has a lot of respect for all the hats Hamlin is able to wear, while continuing to be a threat to win week-in and week-out. How does Hamlin carry it all? He utilizes an analogy an old friend once taught him.

“You’ve got to have a good tackle box. … Where you can — hey, the race team is over here. You’re a driver over here. You’re dad over here. And be able to just separate them at the right time,” Hamlin stated. “And I feel like that’s something that I’ve been good at over the last, you know, ten years or so.

“And yeah, I’ve never gotten into a race car on race day or practice, and not felt prepared. I always make sure I give myself enough time to fully prepare myself to do my job at 100%.”

Moving forward, it’s obvious Denny Hamlin will continue to be at the top of his game behind the wheel, while also managing a bevy of other ventures. We’ll see if he’s able to join Kevin Harvick as a NASCAR Cup Series champion, but it won’t be for a lack of preparation if he doesn’t.