Denny Hamlin believes NASCAR will get 'the ‘right’ champion' by extending Championship 4 races

NASCAR Cup Series Championship - Qualifying
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, waits on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 05, 2022, in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Joe Gibbs Racing driver and 23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin has earned 48 NASCAR Cup Series victories and 17 Xfinity Series victories but is still chasing his first NASCAR Championship.

Hamlin added a bigger point while speaking to reporters last week: that the final phase of the NASCAR Cup Series playoff Championship rounds should feature three races, similar to the first three rounds.

Denny Hamlin says he understands that his not having won a title will make him commenting on the format look like sour grapes, but he did his best to argue for a change from the single-race championship.

The 42-year-old met with the media in Nashville ahead of the NASCAR Awards show. He spoke about the current playoff format and how it differs significantly from those used in the NBA and MLB.

Hamlin said:

“I just think we’ve seen it come down to cautions from maybe a car that wasn’t even in the race. That shouldn’t affect the champions of the race. If you stretch it out over a three-race series, I believe that you’ll get more of the ‘right’ champion.”

He continued:

“I think Dale Jr. covered it perfectly. Should one season, come down to this three-hour window? Listen all of the champions have been worthy, nonetheless, and I’m the last person that should comment on this because I’ve never won one and I’ll just sound like some bitter a****** that never won one.”

Denny Hamlin is one of the best drivers of all time who never won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship. He came close to winning his first title on several occasions but never got off to a promising start. The #11 Toyota driver finished third in the Championship standings in his first full-time Cup Series season and has added another third place and a runner-up finish in the standings since.

Denny Hamlin missed the Championship 4 for the first time in last 4 years

Denny Hamlin was one of the strongest contenders to win the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series title before entering the season. He had made it into the Championship 4 event in the previous three seasons and had vast experience in stock car racing.

#NASCAR … Denny Hamlin and Jordan Fish on the red carpet.

The veteran driver put on a thrilling performance in the playoff races, including back-to-back runner-up finishes at Darlington Raceway and Kansas Speedway. He missed the final four spots through no fault of his own.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver passed enough drivers in the Round of 8 final race at Martinsville Speedway to put himself above the cut-off line. Trackhouse Racing driver Ross Chastain’s video game move, however, was all that kept Hamlin out of his fourth straight Championship Race appearance.

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Edited by Anurag C
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