Perhaps more than any other driver, Denny Hamlin understands the frustrations of fans mired in traffic last weekend at Kentucky Speedway. Driving to the track, Hamlin was stuck in the traffic and nearly missed the mandatory drivers meeting prior to the race.
This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Hamlin was critical of the speedway, but also saw a silver lining in the problem.
"They had a lot of work that needed to be done in a year and a half and they just didn't get to it all. I think in time they'll get it figured out," Hamlin said. "Obviously, (Kentucky Speedway) has an owner in it that is not afraid to spend money and politic with the state. I think that the state is going to be willing to make some changes and obviously, above and beyond that they've got to have a better traffic strategy because I think that kind of failed."
While the traffic strategy may have failed, Hamlin pointed out having a large amount of people trying to attend a NASCAR race is not necessarily a bad thing.
"Well to me, I view it as a good thing that there was that much demand to get into a race track," he said. "You hear stories and we hear stories of 10 years ago or so, how hard it was to get into race tracks and everything. Now you hear two hours before a race starts that we just drove right in. That's not a good thing. You want there to be a little bit of traffic that means people are going to be filing into the race track and watching the race. I don't -- when I left the race track, I saw this huge swarm of people coming from every which direction. I kind of look at it and smile that the demand for NASCAR is back."
Taking an optimistic outlook on the situation, Hamlin does not believe offering an autograph session for fans will help rectify the situation, but he is willing to help if necessary.
"Autograph sessions and things like that, I'm not sure that's going to bring in new fans or anything like that," he said. "The stuff that we do to help promote races goes really above and beyond anything that we've ever done in the past to promote races. People just don't have enough money to do it, they're not going to do it. An autograph is not going to make a difference in my opinion whether someone shows up or not."