Denny Hamlin lost the Hollywood Casino 400 to Bubba Wallace Jr. by a margin of 1.137 seconds last Sunday at Kansas Speedway. During the final run, the #11 Toyota driver passed his teammate Christopher Bell for the second position on 252 of the 267 laps. With 10 laps left, Hamlin trailed by 2.066 seconds but could not get the lead because the only driver preventing him from a win was his team’s driver Wallace Jr.
During the post-race interview, Denny Hamlin spoke about how hard he challenged Wallace Jr. for the win in the closing laps. Hamlin said:
“I nearly wrecked to try to catch him and then I got bad loose and nearly got in the fence. I was driving as hard as I could. Nothing will ever come free if you’re driving for me. If you think I’m going to let you win, you better go get another job. Just so proud of the whole team.”
The Tampa, Florida-native started the race in 25th place after struggling in the qualifying race on Sunday. Hamlin suffered another hit during the race early caution in Stage 1 when he was penalized for equipment interference during pit road and had to start again from the rear of the field. During the start of Stage 3, his #11 car handling improved, and he came out of the pit road running third just behind Alex Bowman and Wallace Jr.
“Really happy for our 11 Toyota team” – Denny Hamlin on P2 finish at Kansas Speedway
Despite having a struggling weekend, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin managed to capitalize on the moment, starting the race from the rear of the field to finishing the race as runner-up. He had mixed feelings about his P2 finish because he called it good as well and was a bit frustrated.
“It’s a good overall day. Just still frustrated about the first half of the race. We just aren’t executing all that well. Got to thank Acumatica for coming on, if you want to improve your business, they can help you do it. Thank you for coming on for Kansas. Really happy for our 11 Toyota team. They really fought hard and in that last half, they really made the car quite a bit better.”
Catch Denny Hamlin for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 17, 2022, at 7:30 pm ET.