Denny Hamlin disagrees that he didn’t race Kyle Larson with respect late Sunday at Pocono Raceway.

“We’re racing for the win, are you (expletive) me?” Hamlin said. “If I’m going to give anyone respect, it’s Kyle Larson just because I respect him as a race car driver, and I think he’s probably the best. Certainly, he’s got my respect.

“But (expletive), we’re all racing for a win. I guarantee you, roles reversed, it goes the same way.”

Haml in and Larson either touched or didn’t, depending on which one you ask, with seven laps to go through Turn 1. The two were running side-by-side in close proximity through the corner and Larson hit the wall.

Under the caution, which came out for an unrelated incident involving Justin Haley in Turn 2, Larson drove up alongside Hamlin and hit him in the driver’s side door. Hamlin went on to win the race while Larson finished 21st.

The Joe Gibbs Rac ing driver did admit he was going to drive as hard as he could to chase a milestone victory. It was the 50th of his Cup Series career and the 600th NASCAR national event victory for Toyota.

“That’s why I left him more than a lane off Turn 2,” Hamlin said.

He also disagreed that Larson has never apologized to him in the past for on-track incidents. According to Hamlin, he’s been run off course at road courses by Larson and got an apology phone call.

“I said, ‘I’m going to stand my ground next time,’” Hamlin said before then mentioning Alex Bowman, who spun in front of him earlier in the day. “I put both of those guys, the No. 48 and the No. 5, in an aero situation. Didn’t touch either one. How can you wreck someone you don’t touch?

“They made a decision to either let off the gas and race side-by-side or hit the gas and hit the wall. I put them to those decisions. I didn’t overshoot the corner. I was behind. I tried to get position on him, knew it was going to be tight off of (Turn) 2, but always made sure I left a lane, or more than a lane.

“These Next Gen cars…you get in that spot near the car on the outside, it sends them very tight. It just tightens their aero balance. Everyone knows it. Kyle is one of the best aero blockers in our field. I knew once he got the lead and it was green, there was no way I was going to go around him, so I backed off and just waited, tried not to burn up my (expletive) for a restart later because he knows how to put you in a situation to just kill your car.

“We waited. We pounced at the right time. He didn’t get his right sides clean, drove in the corner just too far, let us get beside him. I thought we were going to race it out off of (Turn) 2. He got in the fence.”