Fueling issue leads to Grubb telling Hamlin: ‘Keep your mouth shut’
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin had one of the stronger cars early in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, leading 32 of the first 70 laps.
However, the two-time New Hampshire winner’s chances at a third Loudon victory and automatic spot in the Contender 12 went away when a fueling issues kept the crew from getting the car full each stop.
After giving way to Kevin Harvick for the race lead on Lap 71, Hamlin brought his No. 11 Toyota to pit road from the second spot under green on Lap 96.
Completing the stop, crew chief Darian Grubb told his driver the team was having an issue with the probe inside the car engaging with the fuel can. Since the connection could not be made, the fuel would not flow cleanly into the fuel cell.
When the caution flew on Lap 104 for debris, Hamlin hit pit road with the race leaders despite being a lap down in the 25th spot. On this stop, the team went to work under the rear deck lid as they changed the probe in an attempt to rectify the problem.
While sitting on pit road, Hamlin expressed his frustration by saying over the team radio, "We suck at this. We are so bad."
Grubb fired back at his driver, trying to keep the team focused and motivated not even halfway through the 300-lap event.
"Dude, I don’t need you doing this. Keep your mouth shut until we get this fixed," he said.
At Lap 130, Hamlin was running 30th on the field, four laps down to the race leader. He was placed out of his misery when he was caught up in a wreck on Lap 181 with David Ragan and Martin Truex Jr.
Hamlin subsequently headed for the garage but returned to the track with 86 laps to go, running 39th, 38 laps down.
VIDEO: Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota heads to the garage after getting collected in a wreck during Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire