Denny Hamlin went on Barstool Sports insanely popular “Pardon My Take” podcast to promote a FedEx initiative and the Daytona 500. It’s what he said during the interview that has NASCAR’s brass up in arms and will likely lead to a sit-down meeting.
When asked about the hardest part of driving the car Hamlin said staying concentrated for 3-4 hours is a huge part of being a successful driver. A completely valid statement that no one is going to dispute. That led to PFT Commenter later in the interview asking “Do you get drug tested.” To which Hamlin responded with “All the time.” NASCAR takes their drug testing policy very seriously and they should. We’re talking about cars going 200 mph plus, you need to sober and stable.
Where Hamlin created the headline was in the next part. When PFT asked if drivers took some sort of ADD medicine to concentrate Hamlin and the PMT boys had this exchange.
“Do you think there is a significant amount of drivers that take Adderall or some sort of ADD medicine.” – PFT
“Mmmmm, I would say yes” – A semi-reluctant Denny Hamlin
“You have to put a percentage on it, it’s the old Jose Canseco rule, you gotta be like 90% of NASCAR drivers do this. ” – Big Cat
“70%.” – Hamlin
Hamlin answering with 70% is a huge headline grab and Big Cat even mentioned that in the interview with “ohhh there’s a headline grab.” NASCAR suspended AJ Allmendinger for taking an unprescribed Adderall, ADD medicine was part of the Jeremy Mayfield saga. NASCAR allows prescribed Adderall to be taken as long as they know about it.
To say 28 out of 40 drivers take Adderall though is a BIG number. Do some drivers take Adderall or something like it? Absolutely and it has been approved by NASCAR. Imagine an NFL player saying 70% of fellow players used a stimulant, that’d be an ESPN topic for 5 days until LeBron Instagrammed something new. SHEEEEEESH.
NASCAR’s Management Is Not Happy
NASCAR’s VP was not happy with Hamlin’s comments.
Ridiculous statement. https://t.co/l7TRmxF3u2
— Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) February 16, 2018
70% is probably a ridiculous statement. Steve can’t be happy with Hamlin making that kind of comment either because it looks bad on the sports drug testing policy. We’re talking about Adderall like it’s cocaine or heroin and it’s not. However, it is still a stimulant and rules are rules. We didn’t crush them in college because it was fun, we crushed them because we needed to remember an entire case for the final and that stuff turned me into Bradley Cooper in Limitless.
NASCAR even issued a statement on their drug testing policy. The governing body issued a statement because of something said on a Barstool podcast. What a ridiculous statement but one that speaks to the power of Pardon My Take and their audience reach.
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 16, 2018
Denny Hamlin hopped on with the bad boys of podcasting and became the bad boy of NASCAR. All in a days work. If you haven’t listened to Pardon My Take check it out wherever you listen to podcasts at.
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