Bristol Recap: A hard run-in with a teammate ended Denny Hamlin’s shot at a win early in Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. But, despite a 21st-place finish, Hamlin advances to the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 sitting second in points. Hamlin dropped to the rear of the field to start the race due to pre-race technical inspection issues. But he was able to climb into the top five by Lap 180 of the 500-lap event. While Hamlin was running in fifth, teammate Martin Truex Jr. slowed up and bounced off the wall directly in front of the No. 11, causing major damage to the hood of the FedEx Freight Toyota. The team was able to make repairs over multiple pit stops, and Hamlin was able to climb back into the top 15 despite driving a difficult-handling, wounded car. But an untimely caution in Stage 3 knocked him outside of the top 20 and multiple laps down. He eventually crossed the finish line in 21st as Kevin Harvick took the win.
Las Vegas Preview: The Playoffs head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first race of the Round of 12 this Sunday night. Despite a tough outing last week at Bristol, Hamlin and the FedEx #11 team have their eye on the prize this weekend at the Diamond in the Desert. Hamlin has never won at Las Vegas but is hoping to change that as he’ll look to secure his spot in the Round of 8 early with a win this weekend.
Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Laps Led: 18
Avg. Start: 16.0
Avg. Finish: 14.0
Hamlin Conversation – Las Vegas:
What do you need to do to score your first win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway?
“It’s been a tough track for me in the past, but I enjoy the process of trying to get better at places where I haven’t necessarily run well. I’m confident our team will bring a fast FedEx Camry and put us in a good position to win and advance.”
How do you feel about your playoff performance this year?
“We didn’t have the best first round, but now our focus is all in on the Round of 12 and to work toward a championship. We’ve had fast cars, but there are still areas of improvement that we are working on.”
Current Global PR