NASCAR insider deems Denny Hamlin the most valuable driver in 2024

NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400
Denny Hamlin after winning the Würth 400 (Image via Getty Images)

According to renowned journalist and NASCAR expert Jordan Bianchi, the most valuable driver in NASCAR this year three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin.

Denny Hamlin has 54 wins in his career so far and he looks forward to bagging his 60th win this year. With three wins under his belt already this year, Hamlin is one of the fiercest contenders for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series championship. His last victory came at Dover Motor Speedway on April 28.

Reflecting on Denny Hamlin's ability to perform consistently almost every week, Bianchi said in a recent episode of the DJD Reloaded:

"He's got 5 straight top 5 finishes, and he's really asserted himself as one of the championship favorites in a really short list. It's his ability week in and week out; he doesn't turn in a bad race. He doesn't make mistakes on the racetrack. Every week he turns a near-flawless wheel."

In his last six starts, including the non-point-paying All-Star Race, Hamlin has put up back top-5 finishes. He even started the season by winning the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum.

"Denny Hamlin is the current point leader with 534 points to his name. He has led 607 this season alone and flaunts 7 top 5s and 8 top 10s. He has just one DNF this year, which came in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway."

Jordan Bianchi puts Denny Hamlin ahead of Kyle Larson

Like Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson is a favorite to win this year's Cup Series championship. Larson is just 21 points behind Hamlin. He has two wins, six top 5s, seven top 10s, and has led more laps than the Joe Gibbs Racing driver (656).

However, according to Bianchi, what puts Hamlin ahead of the Hendrick Motorsports driver is that the former is consistent every week.

"The difference to me was consistency," explained Bianchi. "Hamlin hasn't really had a bad week this year. There has been a few times this year where Larson's had a mistake on the racetrack or something like that. That's the only difference."

The results of Larson's last six starts are 10th, 34th, 1st, 2nd, 21st, 21st (excluding the All-Star Race).

In February, Larson crashed out on lap 254 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which ruined his day and handed him his second DNF of the current season.

Larson also missed this year's Coca-Cola 600 as he competed in the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 earlier that day. The IndyCar race got delayed due to rain and Larson was unable to make it in time for the Coke 600, which eventually got shortened due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Nevertheless, both Larson and Hamlin are in the playoff rumble. After the upcoming race at Sonoma, the duo will next compete on the famed IOWA Speedway.

Reports say, NASCAR will hold a Cup Series race at IOWA for the first time in 2024, which translates into a triple-header with an Xfinity Series and an ARCA Menards Series race on the schedule during the same weekend.

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