Denny Hamlin doesn’t really think 70 percent of drivers use Adderall

Denny Hamlin wasn’t being serious when he said 70 percent of NASCAR drivers use Adderall or other ADD medications while racing, he said Friday afternoon.

Hamlin appeared on the popular Barstool Sports “Pardon My Take” podcast with Big Cat and PFT Commenter on Thursday, where they asked him about using medications that would enhance concentration. The driver then suggested nearly three-quarters of the field was using an amphetamine, which is the type of drug only permissible in NASCAR with a prescription.

But Hamlin said he was just throwing out a number.

“I think anyone who has listened to their podcast knows they are funny and joking around and not serious whatsoever,” Hamlin told and outside his motorhome at Daytona International Speedway. “They make jokes about a lot of things.

“I literally said we get drug-tested all the time. When they asked me how many (drivers), I said I didn’t know, and they said, ‘Just give us a number,’ and I joked around and gave them a number that has no fact behind it. It’s getting blown up.”

Here’s the transcript of the exchange:

PMT: Do you think that there’s a significant amount of NASCAR drivers that take like Adderall or some sort of ADD medicine to try to focus more?

Hamlin: Mmm…I would say yes.

PMT: Ooh. You gotta put a percentage on it. It’s the old Jose Canseco Rule. You gotta be like, “90 percent of NASCAR drivers do this.”

Hamlin: Seventy percent.

PMT: Wow! OK, that’s a headline grab.

Sure enough, Pardon My Take tweeted a graphic a big number 70 and the caption: Does NASCAR have a drug problem?

NASCAR was furious over the comment because it frequently drug-tests competitors and has a very strict substance abuse policy. AJ Allmendinger was suspended in 2012 and later lost his ride for taking Adderall.

NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell tweeted Hamlin’s comment was a “ridiculous statement.”

In a separate statement, NASCAR said if any driver is found to test positive for a substance taken without a prescription, that person would be indefinitely suspended.

“Simply put, NASCAR is confident in its drug-testing program,” NASCAR said.

Hamlin and O’Donnell then met in the NASCAR hauler, where Hamlin made the point he was “doing a podcast with a lackadaisical group of guys that have fun talking about sports in a non-real way.” The driver said it was better for him and O’Donnell to meet in person to sort it out because “we can become brash at times through text.”

So does Hamlin really think 70 percent of drivers use Adderall?

“Realistically, no,” he said. “Probably not. We get drug-tested all the time and NASCAR has a zero (tolerance) policy for anything that’s not prescription.”

Hamlin told reporters to “consider the source” next time, because he wants to continue to do fun shows.

But he also acknowledged his role in the matter.

“(NASCAR officials) don’t want us giving out false numbers, for sure,” he said. “So I personally need to probably be a little careful not doing that and playing into it. But I still like doing stuff that’s easygoing and not serious.”

Denny Hamlin walks into the NASCAR hauler on Friday to meet with Steve O’Donnell after the driver’s podcast comments. (Photo: Jeff Gluck)

9 Replies to “Denny Hamlin doesn’t really think 70 percent of drivers use Adderall”

  1. Jeff, were you at Martinsville in the media center the day he came back from the “eye” episode after Dega? While not a media member, I was grateful to have someone who got me a hot pass + media pass with MC & PB sticker credentials for several races at M’ville + Pocono from 2012-2016. Being in that room during the interview, I never heard a more defensive person who claimed to be drug free in my life. If you have nothing to hide, you do not have to say a word, imho. It was perplexing to say the least……

    Denny comes from extremely humble beginnings, and I think he forgets this quite often anymore. He likes to play both sides of the sword. Live by it, die by it. For the success he has, he acts like a little chicken-shit at times. However, he makes millions driving a car for a living, and I sit behind a desk hoping to someday…. and they are slipping by, fast. #armchaircrewchief

    I can provide photos of the pass, etc… for proof of this. Besides that, I find it interesting he makes the comments he does. Dale Jr. seemed to agree with his reply to your tweet. Just sayin’

  2. Really no idea how to take that. Hamlins never really been a kidder. You can look at it as Nascar has Hamlin under their thumb so he retracted. But goes back to we need drivers to be honest and open as Stewart. If Bowyer made that kind of comment yea definitely can see humor cause its who he is, but Hamlin dont see it but who knows. We never really will know.

  3. Denny Hamlin is my favorite controversy. He always manages to start a storm and it’s always on accident. And it’s funny every. Single. Time.

  4. Well, based on his comments last year in Martinsville, we know that math has never been a strong suit of Denny.

  5. If any other driver made these comments, it would be overlooked. From the first Twitter fine until this…he has been the driver NASCAR makes an example of over and over. I just wish they would spread the love.

Comments are closed.