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Denny Hamlin regrets not "shoving out" Joey Logano for Bristol victory

Denny Hamlin wishes he would have done things differently at Bristol. Photo: Chris Graythen / Getty Images
Denny Hamlin wishes he would have done things differently at Bristol. Photo: Chris Graythen / Getty Images
Modified 02 Apr 2021

Denny Hamlin wishes he could have a do over at Bristol Motor Speedway

Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano lined up side by side on the final restart of the Bristol dirt race, and while many fans were hoping for a bump-n-run, it didn't play out that way. Hamlin attempted a daring move for the lead on the top lane but it ended up retarding his momentum instead, allowing Logano to pull away from the field.

While the move looked nothing short of an epic charge for the lead, Denny Hamlin didn't really have the traction to make it stick. He even ended up losing second place to Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who tried to mount his own challenge against Logano as well in an attempt to claim a historic victory.

“I should have just shoved him out,” Denny Hamlin told the media after finishing second in the Bristol dirt race. “When I had position on the bottom, I should have just moved up and got him in the dust and got rid of him. But I just wanted to pass him clean. I didn’t (move him), so I didn’t win.”

With that being said, had Denny Hamlin managed to pull off the move, it would have been nothing short of heart-pounding to watch those two try and jostle over the lead. It could have also resulted in Stenhouse getting another career win, which would have been a huge boost for his career.

“Man, it’s incredible. How about Bristol on dirt? This is an incredible, unbelievable racetrack — great job by everyone that prepped the track. Obviously, a lot of work over here the last few days. We did a lot of work in the dirt department here last few weeks," Joey Logano said after the race. "My buddy Ryan Flores and my car chief Jerry Kelley did a good job with the modified and just making laps and learning where I was going. A lot of that helped. Kevin Buskirk helped a lot, too. He has a lot of knowledge and obviously Paul Wolfe, this team, the great car obviously to be able to execute the race that we did and get a win."
“I had an opportunity to choose whether I was going to make a move on the high side or the low side,” Denny Hamlin added. “I chose high, and the track was just too slick up there at the time. He didn’t get a very good restart. I was on him entering Turn 1. That tells me if I could start beside him, then I had an opportunity there to be ahead of him getting in."

Restarts are one of the best parts of NASCAR racing, and it would have no doubt been exciting to see Denny Hamlin bump Logano out of the way. Of course, a lot of the strategy Hamlin used probably had to do with NASCAR ordering single-file restarts for the rest of the race, which didn't leave him with too many options.

Published 02 Apr 2021, 12:16 IST
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