Denny Hamlin happy with fourth-place run

Denny Hamlin (Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, Mich. –  Denny Hamlin feels his fortunes are on an upswing, and he had reason for optimism even before he took the green flag in Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

On Saturday afternoon, Hamlin outduel William Byron in a side-by-side race to the finish line to take home the trophy from the Irish Hills 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. On Sunday, he backed that up with a satisfying fourth-place run in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at the two-mile track.

Hamlin was 10th for a restart on Lap 155 of 200 but worked his way forward over the final 45 laps, which were punctuated by three additional cautions.

“Really good car,” Hamlin acknowledged after the race. “Everything we needed to do we did. Had one little hiccup on pit road, but for the most part, we ran really well all day, had good speed in our Camry and pretty happy.”

The result was Hamlin’s second best of the season, eclipsed only by his third-place run at Richmond in late April. More important, Hamlin believes he’s close to getting his first win of the season—and the first victory for Joe Gibbs Racing.

“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “I mean, you keep battling in the top-five and eventually you’ll have your chance.”

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.