Earlier this year, a spirited battle for a win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course left Cup rookie Chase Briscoe feeling the ire of veteran Denny Hamlin. Racing for the win on the final restart, Briscoe spun Hamlin out of the lead despite being penalized for cutting the course, creating a dispute that has bled over both on the racetrack and through social media.
With 60 laps to go at Texas Motor Speedway earlier in October, Hamlin and Briscoe were racing for position when Hamlin ran Briscoe up the racetrack and into the Turn 4 wall, leading to Briscoe cutting a tire and spoiling a Top 10 run. On his team's radio, Hamlin had no sympathy.
"That's what he gets for being a f---ing idiot," Hamlin said on his radio.
Neither driver left the issue in Texas.
In reply to a NASCAR on NBC Instagram post about the incident, Briscoe sarcastically remarked "If only I had 10,000 races worth of experience under my belt," in reference to a much-trolled 2017 comment by Hamlin about his years of racing experience.
Hamlin fired back, leading to a terse exchange chronicled by Michelle R. Martinelli of USA Today's For The Win.
"Not sure you'll get there. There's cars racing for a championship. In case you forgot about taking out the leader and costing him 1 championship (sic) already this season," wrote Hamlin. "Perhaps when you learn give and take you will start to finish better."
"I get paid to race," Briscoe replied. "Just because you guys are racing in the playoffs doesn't mean I'm just gonna wave you by. One of the best cars we've had all year and I was trying to take advantage of it. I understand you guys are racing for a championship which is awesome for you guys but I'm racing for a job and results let me keep that job."
Although their conversation touched on the issue of what is expected from the rest of the field while racing around playoff drivers, Briscoe is in a position to make Hamlin's life very difficult over the next three weeks. Hamlin is currently just above the cutoff line for the Championship 4, while Briscoe has little left to lose as he looks for good results to put the finishing touches on what will in all likelihood be a Rookie of the Year-winning campaign.
Briscoe recovered from his run-in with Hamlin last Sunday to finish 15th, while Hamlin salvaged an 11th place finish after suffering both a cut tire of his own and crash damage in separate late-race accidents.