Hamlin ‘Dega Preview

Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

Sunday Race Info

Race: GEICO 500

Date/Time: Sunday, April 21 / 3 p.m. ET

Distance: 188 laps / 500.08 miles

Track Length: 2.66 miles

Express Notes

Press Kit: Download the 2024 FedEx Racing press materials at www.fedex.com/en-us/racing/press-kit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Chris Gabehart and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights and statistics.

Texas Recap: Hamlin finished 30th in last weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway after an accident while battling for the lead on an overtime restart. Before the mishap, Hamlin had taken the lead late in the race and was in position to win before a caution on lap 254 set up a restart with eight laps remaining. On the lap-260 restart, the No. 11 Camry was scored mere inches behind the leader when another quick caution slowed the race again. As a result, Hamlin lined up second for the ensuing overtime restart. While the field raced through turns three and four, Hamlin’s car broke loose, and he made contact with the outside wall.

Talladega Notes: The Chesterfield, Virginia native is a two-time winner at Talladega Superspeedway after claiming victories in May 2014 and October 2020. Hamlin leads all active drivers with 11 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s at Talladega. He also ranks second among active drivers with 434 laps led. He has posted two top-five finishes in his last three starts at the track, including a third-place result last October.

Front Runner: Hamlin leads the Cup Series in multiple statistical categories according to Loop Data provided by NASCAR. He is currently best in the series in average running position, driver rating, green flag speed, and laps in the top 15. Through nine races, Hamlin has spent 187 more laps in the top 15 than the next closest competitor.

Leading in 2024: Hamlin is the only driver to lead in all nine races this season. After leading 37 laps at Texas, the No. 11 driver ranks second overall with 395 laps led this season. He has led in 13 consecutive races dating back to last season.

Hamlin Statistics

Track: Talladega Superspeedway

Races: 36

Wins: 2

Poles: 1

Top-5: 11

Top-10: 16

Laps Led: 434

Avg. Start: 14.8

Avg. Finish: 16.2

Hamlin Conversation – Talladega

Why is track position so much more important at Talladega nowadays?

“We have seen that the Next Gen car is a lot more difficult to get a third lane going compared to the previous cars. Because of that, it’s going to be a lot of side-by-side, two-wide racing and you don’t really have anywhere to go. That forces you to race as hard as possible every lap to try to put yourself in the best position possible and then you have to execute on pit road. That will certainly be a point of emphasis getting everyone on and off pit road as fast as possible and as coordinated as possible. As a Toyota group, we didn’t do that as well as we needed to at Daytona, so it’s definitely going to be something we need to focus on going into this weekend to put ourselves in the best position possible, especially after the final pit stop.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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