Having realized from Daytona masters, Hamlin has grow to be one
If you consider a number of the most profitable NASCAR drivers at Daytona, Denny Hamlin may not be on the high of many lists, however the Joe Gibbs Racing veteran is steadily stamping his place within the speedway’s historical past. Hamlin has tallied 9 wins at Daytona, essentially the most of any driver entered this weekend, though not all of them have earned him factors.
Two Daytona 500 wins in 2016 and ’19.
Three Duel wins in ’08, ’14, and ’17.
Three Conflict wins in ’06, ’14, and ’16, and in addition the primary rookie to win the occasion.
One Xfinity Sequence win in ’08.
Denny and Daytona. They simply appear to go collectively, and Hamlin has even developed a distinct angle and confidence for the monitor.
“Folks consider (me) quite a lot of instances all through my profession as being a short-track man, and actually, I deem myself a short-track man, who has simply tailored rather well to superspeedway racing,” Hamlin stated. “And quite a lot of that has come from watching a number of the greatest do it.”
One such driver was Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hamlin, who as a pal joined Earnhardt in victory lane when he gained the 2004 Daytona 500, has even completed second to Earnhardt within the Daytona 500 (2014). In all, Earnhardt Jr. has 17 Daytona wins.
Tony Stewart, a former teammate of Hamlin’s, offered one other instance. Though Stewart by no means gained the Daytona 500, Hamlin all the time felt Stewart had put himself able to take action. All through his racing profession — Duel races, the Conflict, the Xfinity Sequence, the summer season Cup Sequence race, and even within the IROC Sequence — Stewart gained 19 instances at Daytona.
“He’s the man that I sort of idolized and appeared on the means he did issues,” stated Hamlin. “I really feel like over the second half of my profession (I) have actually been a scholar of the sport on, how can I enhance? How can I put myself in a greater place to complete these races?”
Hamlin has additionally realized to belief his instincts on the superspeedway races and figuring out when to push exhausting or disappear.
“If you really feel that hair on the again of your neck arise,” he stated, “it’s time to get out.”
This Sunday, Hamlin can be launched because the two-time and defending Daytona 500 winner and seeking to be part of an elite membership of drivers who’ve gained it three or extra instances.
“It’s robust, however there may be extra confidence,” he stated of making an attempt to repeat. “You recognize that the stuff you’ve been doing have been profitable, and I gained’t change any of them till it doesn’t work anymore and I’ve to adapt. I feel that it’s been actually an important run we’ve had over the past eight years particularly. We’ve been an element to win each Daytona 500, it looks as if, for the final decade, so I come right here considering that there’s no purpose that needs to be any completely different.”