Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin was dissatisfied with his performance at the Dixie Vodka 400 last Sunday. He felt that he wasn’t fast enough to compete with race leaders even when he was in the lead to claim a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Driving the #11 Toyota Camry, Hamlin managed to run in the top 10 in the second stage but failed to put up a challenge for the win. He then rallied back to post a seventh-place finish when the checkered flag waved.
During the post-race interview, Denny Hamlin describes why he felt like a “sitting duck” after the P2 finish at 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway. He admitted that his #11 team did a great job in the second half of the race and had a few good pit stops.
“We had some good stops. The pit crew did a great job the second half of the race. I was able to get a good restart to get the track position by taking the lead, but I just can’t get my car to go. I can’t get it to turn. We’re just too slow on the short runs. Something we’ve really got to work on for sure. We weren’t fast enough to really compete with those guys even when we got the lead. We were just a sitting duck because I couldn’t go anywhere.”
“It’s really tough to keep it up there all day, especially with the shadow into Turn 1. I had my fair share of times in the wall today. Luckily, the car stayed in one piece. I nearly crashed into (Turn) 1. That was exciting and just kept going.”
On the closing lap at Homestead-Miami Speedway, a major point change occurred when Hamlin got loose and hit the wall, costing him a top-five finish and dropping him back to seventh place. He is currently in fifth place in the playoff standings, five points below the elimination line for the final spot in the Championship 4.
Denny Hamlin shares his plans for NASCAR Martinsville race this weekend
Denny Hamlin has five wins at Martinsville Speedway and will look to finish higher this Sunday to contend for a Championship 4 spot for the fourth straight NASCAR season and fifth overall.
Further into the post-race interview, the #11 driver shared what he needs to focus on heading into the elimination race of Round of 8 at Martinsville Speedway.
“We’ve got to go get stage points. We can’t be outside the top 10 for the first two stages for sure. That’s the only thing that has really kind of hurt us. Not having a lot of playoff points, we always have to dig ourselves out of a hole every time a round starts. We just have to go there and get it done and perform well. I think we can. We have to qualify well and execute.”
Catch Denny Hamlin next at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, October 30, 2022.