Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin has become the first driver standings leader in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Era (2004-2021) to compete in the first 12 races of a season and not win a race.
Hamlin, the defending winner of this weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway, is hoping to end his winless streak that has reached 17 events (dating back to Talladega on Oct. 4, 2020) and etch his name on the 2021 wins list.
Driver Points Standings Leader Following 12th Race of Playoff Era Seasons (2004-2021)
|Season||Points Leader After 12th Race||Wins||Pts Lead Over 2nd|
|2017||Martin Truex Jr.||2||5|
|2004||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||3||5|
Though Hamlin has yet to win this season, he has been very consistent putting up nine top-five finishes in 12 starts. He currently holds a 75-point lead in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings on his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. in second.
Last season, Denny Hamlin put on a dominating performance at Dover leading a race-high 115 laps, winning both stages and grabbing his first career Monster Mile win. Hamlin has made 30 series starts at Dover collecting four poles, one win, six top fives and 13 top 10s.
If Hamlin happens to remain winless for the rest of the regular season, he will become the first NASCAR Cup Series driver standings points leader to make the postseason without a win.