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Many seem to be missing Denny Hamlin’s point

Denny Hamlin has been heavily scrutinized the last couple days and comments he made Wednesday have been picked apart. The focus of critics has been Hamlin’s comment regarding drivers not getting paid enough and his support of that statement being comparisons to salaries in other professional sports. I think a lot of the critics missed Hamlin’s point, either by reading only headlines that focused on his brief comment on driver salaries, going only on second-hand information from others that left out other important parts, or just glossing over some important points he made and just to criticize.

Do I agree with everything Hamlin said Wednesday? No, but I think he made some good points — points that seem to be getting overlooked.

Yes, Hamlin did say that drivers aren’t paid enough, but he wasn’t just referring to padding his own pockets that, reportedly, took in $15 million last year. But he discussed driver salaries, overall, including those that regularly run in the back of race fields. Admittedly, I don’t agree 100 percent with Hamlin on this one. In other sports, the so-called benchwarmers are making Stephen Curry or LeBron James-level money, either

To his credit, Hamlin also stated that crew members needed to be paid more and needed a better working environment, citing lackluster garages at at least one facility I won’t name here.

But, from what I could gather, Hamlin’s primary point was the need for a redistribution of revenue, with teams getting a bigger piece of the TV revenue pie. Under the current model, teams get 25 percent, with NASCAR getting 10 percent and tracks the biggest chunk of 65 percent.

On the outside, NASCAR Nation looks to be struggling financially, with sponsorship dollars, seemingly, harder and harder to come by and teams falling by the wayside. Based upon that view, Hamlin’s critics focused solely on his stance of drivers’ salaries needing to be bigger claim that Hamlin’s request for higher salaries across the board is ridiculous, because of the aforementioned struggles of teams. As a result, those critics are asking from where Hamlin thinks money for those higher salaries is supposed to come.

That question just proves my point each and every time I’ve heard it asked the last couple of days, and I’ve heard (or read) it a lot across social media and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio call-in shows. Those folks must’ve missed Hamlin’s primary complaint, here, that the TV revenue model needs to be modified to give teams more. He explained exactly where the money should come from — a bigger percentage of the TV deal. How much simpler could he possibly make it for you folks?

I’ve noticed that most of the criticism of what Hamlin said doesn’t even touch on the TV money, and wasn’t that what Hamlin was, primarily, talking about? My point is made, right there, I think.

NASCAR’s deal with NBC and FOX that is in its third of 10 years is, reportedly, the biggest TV deal the sport has ever signed, so what are the tracks doing with their whopping $65 percent? Some tracks are making improvements, and I applaud them for it, but not all are. Heck, not all of them need to. So, what are those places doing with their big chunk of change?

With more money on the table for tracks why aren’t race purses increasing? That would definitely take at least some of the sting away from the sponsorship problems.

I’m not sure if I agree totally with Hamlin on his stance that sponsorship money should merely be a bonus, that teams should be able to get by comfortably on purse money only. Considering the high salaries of the sport’s top drivers and the, seemingly, ridiculous price tag of getting a leg up on the team over in the next garage stall, getting by simply on purse money may be a pipe dream from here on out, even if purse money increases or the teams’ piece of the pie gets bigger.

I’m not saying you should agree with Hamlin, or disagree with him for that matter, but at least pay attention to exactly and all of what he said before passing judgement, not jumping the gun with criticism based only on a headline or second or third-hand info.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on October 5, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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