The standoff between NASCAR and Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin came to an abrupt end on Thursday.
Hamlin, who was fined $25,000 last week for making what NASCAR called "disparaging remarks" about the on-track competition two weeks ago at Phoenix, elected not to appeal the penalty but said he also would not pay the fine.
NASCAR, however, will still get its money.
Within moments of Hamlin's announcement on his Twitter account, NASCAR issued a statement confirming Hamlin's move and indicating it would seek to collect the $25,000 from his race earnings instead.
"NASCAR considers the case closed," the statement said.
The move Thursday takes the issue out of the public arena, where it threatened to drag on for weeks should Hamlin fully avail himself of NASCAR's appeal process.
"Dragging myself, my team and NASCAR through the mud for the next two weeks would not be good for anyone. I firmly believe I am in the right on this issue and will stand behind my decision not to pay," Hamlin said in his statement announcing his decision.
"I understand NASCAR will do what they feel is necessary based on my decision. Thanks to all of my fans and peers who have supported me in this decision. I look forward to putting it to rest."
Under Section 12-3 of the Cup series rulebook, NASCAR does have the option of suspending a driver for failure to pay a fine, or collect the money from the driver and team's race earnings.
In this case, NASCAR opted for the latter option.
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