Denny Hamlin will appeal

Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 by NASCAR on Thursday. (Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 by NASCAR on Thursday. (Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Fined $25,000 for comments NASCAR considered derogatory to the sport, Denny Hamlin said Thursday night in a post on his Twitter account that he would appeal the sanctioning body’s decision.

Joe Gibbs Racing issued a statement Friday indicating its support for Hamlin during the appeals process.

“We have spoken with NASCAR and will continue to keep an open dialogue with them on this matter, but we will keep those discussions between the parties involved,” the JGR statement said. “We will fully support Denny in his appeal process.”

Hamlin indicated Thursday that he had been fined for drawing comparisons between the new Gen-6 race car and its predecessor.

Despite protestations to the contrary, fellow driver Jeff Gordon expects Hamlin to capitulate and pay the fine sooner or later.

“We are in Vegas, so we can try to count the odds of when the apology’s going to be coming (or) the ‘We’re all in this together to grow this sport’ tweet is going to be coming,” Gordon said. “Your guess is as good as mine. Listen, I think it’s been an interesting story for somebody to challenge (NASCAR’s) authority, and that’s fine.

“But at the end of the day, I know whose sandbox I’m playing in, and I like the sandbox, and I like to play in it, and I want to have the best opportunity to have the most fun in that sandbox. And so sometimes, while you don’t like it, you have to bite your tongue and just go out there and race.”

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