After getting passed for the lead by an aggressive Denny Hamlin on the last lap of Sunday’s Daytona 500, Matt Kenseth said he didn’t fault his teammate for going for broke in the sport’s biggest race.
Kenseth, who wiggled and nearly wrecked when Hamlin dove to his inside off Turn 4, crossed the finish line a disappointing 14th while Hamlin nipped Martin Truex Jr. for the victory.
Article continues below ...
Denny Hamlin (11) made a bold move on teammate Matt Kenseth (17) on the final lap to win the Daytona 500.
Five days after their hard-fought battle for the win, Hamlin suggested there are no issues between him and Kenseth.
"My conversation with Matt was good," Hamlin said on Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I talked to him the night of the 500. We chatted back and forth and, yeah, I think he knows where I stood on everything and we definitely understand each other, for sure, and I felt so bad for him."
Even amid the joys of victory, Hamlin was cognizant of the 2003 Sprint Cup Series champion’s disappointment with how the race played out.
So what did Hamlin say to his elder teammate?
"I just wanted to let him know that at the end it was bad for him, but . . . I highly regard him as far as the guys that I look up to," Hamlin said.