Denny Hamlin doesn’t need to necessarily sweat his 15th place finish last weekend in Vegas but he isn’t as happy now as he was a month ago. See, Hamlin was on a hot streak recently. From Kentucky in mid July to Bristol at the end of August, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver had six straight top five finishes including five of which being in the top three.
But, over the last three races, he has just one top 10 finish. Hamlin finished 29th in Darlington, sixth in Indy and 15th in Vegas.
It’s not like he didn’t have fast race cars in those races though. He was running up front in the Southern 500 but was involved in a crash. A week later in Indy, he finished in the top 10 with a backup car while starting last. Vegas, was an anomaly.
Now, it’s to Richmond, arguably Hamlin’s best track.
Out of his last eight starts there, he’s finished in the top six in seven of them. He’s +29 in the playoff standings and if he wants to avoid a hectic weekend for the ROVAL, a solid top five would suffice.
Also, Hamlin has been among the top drivers in the series on the return visits to certain race tracks in 2019. Richmond, will be the fifth track that the series has visited twice this year. In the previous four, Hamlin has three top two finishes including two wins. With how strong that he typically is at Richmond combined with Joe Gibbs Racing winning the last three Cup races on the .75-mile short track including six of the last eight overall, Hamlin could be in store for a win on Saturday night.
He backed that up on Friday in being sixth and fourth respectively on single lap runs and third and first respectively on 10 lap averages.