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Denny Hamlin recently concluded his 18th NASCAR Cup Series season and his first year as a podcast host. Each week throughout the 2023 campaign, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver broke down the action from the weekend before and offered his thoughts on various NASCAR-related topics. 

He closed out the season-ending episode by talking about the final race of the year, which was also the final race in the Hall of Fame career of Kevin Harvick. During that conversation, the three-time Daytona 500 winner discussed the 2014 Cup champion’s future working with Fox and admitted he is hopeful that the veteran driver’s presence in the booth will improve the network’s lackluster coverage of the sport.  

Denny Hamlin calls out Fox again to close out 2023 

Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick have a history. It started in 2006 when Hamlin ran his first full-time Cup season. Harvick was already in his sixth. The pair have raced together for the last 18 years. 

During the season-ending episode of Hamlin’s Action Detrimental podcast, he chatted about how it was emotional watching the Stewart-Haas Racing driver make his final laps in Phoenix and offered some thoughts about his future. 

“Just want to say happy retirement,” Hamlin said. “He’s still going to give back to the sport by being part of the TV. I tell you, he could really improve that Fox booth a ton. I think he will push them to be better. 

“From what we’ve seen, NBC to Fox, the big variation in production that the two have and how much one is really into the nuts and bolts and explaining everything where the other is just kind of talking about some stuff. There’s a lot to be gained there in the Fox booth, and I think that Kevin will push everyone to do that and be better. I’m excited to see how that turns out for sure.” 

Hamlin critical of Fox coverage earlier in year

Interestingly, Hamlin’s remarks about Fox aren’t the first time he’s been critical of the network. That also happened on his podcast in April.

“I think the fans, in general, and on social media, are really, really tough on Fox,” Hamlin said. “I think some of it is warranted, but I think that they’re very critical about some really small things that they could get better. 

“One thing I saw at (Bristol) dirt last week or when I watched it back, the announcers would be talking about some side-by-side battle, and the camera wasn’t on it. So you didn’t know — what are they are talking about? Let me see this battle. 

“I did notice, too, as soon as some action would start to heat up on a side-by-side battle, they’d cut to like 12th place. You see the second-place guy working over the first-place guy like right on his ass and about to make a move and they cut to like side-by-side for 12th. It’s like, s***, let’s keep it in the battle that’s about to dictate who’s going to be leading this race. Certainly I think from a production standpoint, we could make some improvements.”

Kevin Harvick should be an improvement, at least according to Hamlin. We’ll know for sure in a few months.

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