Denny Hamlin frustrates the race winner before losing the lead

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 12: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 12, 2017 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota wasn’t as fast as the No. 4 Ford of race winner Kevin Harvick, but Hamlin did an admirable job of keeping Harvick behind him for 46 laps in Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway.

In fact, Hamlin’s ability to frustrate Harvick’s repeated attempts to pass enabled JGR teammate Kyle Busch to catch and pass both of them for the lead. Ultimately, Busch finished second after a slow pit stop, and Hamlin came home fourth.

“I did my best to hold him (Harvick) up and frustrate him, and I probably frustrated him towards the middle part of the race,” Hamlin said. “I was just trying to lead as many laps as I could, but I knew it was just a matter of time before he got around me. It was a fun race overall and definitely good to be competitive.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.