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Denny Hamlin has dropped his appeal of a $25,000 fine for criticizing NASCAR's new car, but says he still does not plan to pay the fine.

NASCAR fined Hamlin last week for making negative comments about its Gen-6 Sprint Cup car following the March 3 race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Hamlin was livid over the penalty and vowed to file an appeal but apparently has had a change of heart. He said, however, that he still will not pay the fine voluntarily.

"After a lot of thought I have decided not to appeal the fine NASCAR has issued," Hamlin tweeted Thursday. "Dragging myself, my team and NASCAR through the mud for the next 2 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. 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."

NASCAR announced Thursday that Hamlin had dropped the appeal and that the case was settled.

"The $25,000 fine assessed to driver Denny Hamlin on March 7 will be settled per Section 12-3 of the 2013 NASCAR rule book after being informed by Hamlin that he will not appeal the penalty," NASCAR said in a statement. " … NASCAR considers this matter closed."

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