Denny Hamlin: It doesn’t pay to be selfish

Denny Hamlin (Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin (Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin (Getty Images)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Ask drivers Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards why their performance at Martinsville Speedway has improved so much since they moved from Roush Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing, and they’ll give you a two-word answer: “Denny Hamlin.”

Both Kenseth and Edwards credit Hamlin, a five-time winner at the .526-mile short track, with helping them find the rhythm at one of NASCAR’s most perplexing venues.

With defending series champion Kyle Busch joining teammates Kenseth, Edwards and Hamlin in the Chase’s Round of 8, there might be a temptation to start withholding vital information.

Not so, says Hamlin.

“It’s hard not to be selfish, but you can also hurt your overall performance these last four races if you start to get selfish,” Hamlin said. “There’s not one thing I’ll ever hold back from any of my teammates at any time at this race track or any other if they ask me, and I would expect the same when we get somewhere that I might need some help as well.

“I think that teamwork is what got us here, and you can’t veer away from that. We all feel like selfishly we can beat each other, and that would be a good problem to have when we get to Homestead – to have to beat each other for a championship. I’m looking forward to that part of it.”

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.