Joe Gibbs Racing has issued a statement indicating its support for its driver Denny Hamlin as he begins the appeals process for his $25000 fine for statements the sanctioning body considered derogatory to the sport.
"We have spoken with NASCAR and will continue to keep an open dialogue with them on this matter, but we will keep those discussions between the parties involved," the JGR statement said. "We will fully support Denny in his appeal process."
Hamlin indicated Thursday that he had been fined for drawing comparisons between the new Gen-6 race car and its predecessor.
Despite his protestations to the contrary, Jeff Gordon said he expects Hamlin to capitulate and pay the fine sooner or later.
"We are in Vegas, so we can try to count the odds of when the apology's going to be coming (or) the ‘We're all in this together to grow this sport' tweet is going to be coming," Gordon said. "Your guess is as good as mine. Listen, I think it's been an interesting story for somebody to challenge (NASCAR's) authority, and that's fine.
"But at the end of the day, I know whose sandbox I'm playing in, and I like the sandbox, and I like to play in it, and I want to have the best opportunity to have the most fun in that sandbox. And so sometimes, while you don't like it, you have to bite your tongue and just go out there and race."