Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin has the unfortunate crown of being probably the best driver in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series field to not have won a championship. The owner-operator is on course to change that statistic about his career as he advances to the Round of 8 after finishing P13 at Charlotte Roval last weekend.
Hamlin, who played smart when it came to securing points in the Round of 12 races, managed to advance to the next round despite the lack of spectacular wins in any of the four races. 'Points Racing', as he referred to his style dictated by the sport's format, Denny Hamlin also thought overtaking during the Bank of America Roval 400 was especially difficult. He elaborated on the same post-race, saying:
“It was the type of day where basically wherever you got placed on the track was where you were going to run, unless someone made a mistake in front of you. We preferred that kind of day even though it is what it is even though our team did a great job with strategy and making sure that we junked stage two when we saw we weren’t going to get stage points there. Those guys that were in front of us most of the day ended up behind us and nobody could pass so it worked out nicely for us."
With the upcoming Round of 8 races coming in thick and fast, the championship is bound to heat up between the eight drivers looking for a spot in Championship 4. Keeping that in mind, Denny Hamlin touched on his prospects of a victory in the upcoming races and tracks, touting them as playing to Toyota's strengths, and said:
All of (the tracks in the third round) are P1 for me and I like all of them. All of them are just perfect for what our strength is, especially with the Toyotas and myself. I’m excited. We had a good test at Martinsville and even though we finished bad there in the spring. We’re going to have to qualify well there and track position is going to be huge. We’re going to go to work and really excited about our prospects in this next round.”
Denny Hamlin reacts to William Byron's points being reinstated by NASCAR
After Denny Hamlin and William Byron ran into each other during a caution a few weeks earlier in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, the latter was seen on the receiving end of a penalty, which saw him lose crucial playoff points. However, since Hendrick Motorsports' appeal of the same penalty, the points have been reinstated by the governing body. Hamlin, clearly not on-board with the decision, reacted to the news recently. He said:
"It was fortunate for him, unfortunate for me. It's interesting that they raise the fine but took the points."
Watch the complete interview below:
Watch Denny Hamlin race in the upcoming Round of 8 as NASCAR goes live from Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend.