Pocono Raceway was a hotbed for action on July 23rd, 2023, culminating in a dramatic fight for the lead between the No. 11 Toyota TRD Camry of Denny Hamlin and the No. 5 NASCAR Chevy Camaro ZL1 of Kyle Larson. Hamlin put the No. 11 Camry against the No. 5 Camaro of Larson, causing the latter to tag the wall and finish 21st instead of fighting for the lead. Hamlin defended his move, even going so far as to say he “didn’t touch” Larson’s race car, but fellow competitors haven’t let his actions go. In fact, Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 8 Camaro, had some words for Hamlin on the matter, according to Racing News.
“The bump and run scenario, that might even be a worse cheap-shot,” Busch said at Richmond Raceway, where the Cup Series competed on July 30th, 2023. “You flat out run into the corner, deeper than you know your car’s going to stick. And you use the guy in front of you as a brake. That’s what happens in the bump-and-run.”
Busch mentioned the parallels between Hamlin’s move and a similar incident that occurred at Richmond in 2008 between himself and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Busch, then driving the No. 18 Camry, made contact with Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevy Impala SS as they were racing for the lead, sending Earnhardt sideways and ending his hopes of winning.
“My issue with [Earnhardt] Jr. here in 2008, we were racing side-by-side,” Busch said. “You keep inching deeper into the corner, every single time. There’s going to be a time you go over that limit and slip. That was me and I made contact with him.”
As for Hamlin’s move, Busch said there wasn’t an excuse for forcing the No. 11 Camry into Larson’s No. 5 Camaro.
“When you get side-by-side with someone, for the first chance and you just whack them out,” he said. “That’s not racing, that’s whacking.”