DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Denny Hamlin said he was joking when he said on a podcast Friday that 70 percent of drivers use Adderall or similar medicines to help them focus.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was on the Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast when the topic moved to drug testing.
He was asked if he gets drug tested, and he said, "All the time." He was then asked if a significant number of drivers take Adderall or other such stimulants to focus, and Hamlin responded, "Hmmm, I would say yes."
The hosts then said he had to put a percentage on it, like Jose Canseco once did with baseball and steroids, and Hamlin said, "70 percent."
NASCAR obviously was not pleased and called Hamlin to meet with officials for about five minutes Friday afternoon. Hamlin does not face any disciplinary measures.
"Anyone who has listened to their podcast, they're funny, joking around and they're not serious whatsoever and they make jokes about a lot of things," Hamlin said after the meeting with NASCAR.
"I literally said that we get drug tested all the time. ... I joked around and gave them a number that had no fact or anything behind it."
So does Hamlin think 70 percent of drivers take that medication?
"Probably not," Hamlin said. "Realistically, no. ... We get drug tested all the time and NASCAR has a zero [tolerance] policy for anybody that does anything that's not prescription."
NASCAR randomly drug tests drivers and crew members at every race weekend throughout the year. All the drivers and crew members must pass a test prior to the season. Amphetamines are among the banned substances. Drivers can work with NASCAR to find an acceptable dosage and schedule of taking drugs on the banned list if they are prescribed by a doctor.
"If any competitor is found to have tested positive for a substance taken without a prescription, NASCAR has a zero-tolerance policy and the member will be indefinitely suspended," NASCAR said in a statement. "Simply put, NASCAR is confident in its drug testing program."
Hamlin said it was frustrating that the statement was magnified, but he would continue to do the lighthearted podcasts. He just needs to be a little more careful playing into the conversation.
"[NASCAR officials] understand where I'm coming from -- I'm doing a podcast with a lackadaisical group of guys that have fun talking about sports in a nonreal way," Hamlin said.