BROOKLYN, Mich – Denny Hamlin said prior to this weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Michigan International Speedway that everything is just working right now. The worst thing that they could do at this point of the year is ruin his new found momentum.
As he leaves the Irish Hills, the momentum remains intact.
Denny Hamlin climbs into his No. 11 Toyota last Sunday at the Watkins Glen International road course
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver had a solid weekend and capped it off with a second place finish in his No. 11 Toyota in Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400. It was Hamlin’s fifth consecutive top five finish on the season and sixth in his last eight starts overall.
His last four finishes are – 2nd, 1st, 3rd and now 2nd respectively.
Following his Pocono win a few weeks ago, Hamlin mentioned that he should be mentioned as a top three drivers in NASCAR’s premiere series right now. While everyone then kind of debated that with them putting Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. up there, as well as Joey Logano, Hamlin has shown that he’s not only a top three driver at the moment, he has a strong case as being the championship favorite.
Find me someone who’s driving better.
“We were right there,” Hamlin said of his day on Sunday. “Really fast car. The FedEx team did a great job adjusting from the last time we were here. First and second on these tracks that we are going back to for a second time. They are just doing a great job making those adjustments. Nothing that I could really do, just didn’t have enough speed. The 4 (Kevin Harvick) was about a half-a-second faster than us in qualifying. … The fastest car won the race – speed wise. Who knows what the right thing to do is, but I feel like we had a great FedEx Camry. Just came up one spot short.”
Hamlin, was second in the first stage and the only reason he was 12th in Stage 2 was because he hit pit lane under that late caution to get tires and fuel. He was in contention all weekend and ever led six laps in Sunday’s race.
Now, he heads to Bristol with only three races remaining in the regular season. He wants to head into the playoffs with all these top five finishes going. He knows that in sports, the champions at seasons end are typically the ones who enter the playoffs the hottest. Just ask Joey Logano how that worked out last year.