Denny Hamlin Looking Forward Not Back

DOVER, DELAWARE - MAY 02: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, drives a damaged car during the NASCAR Cup Series DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne at Dover Motor Speedway on May 02, 2022 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

With the exception of one race—a welcome victory at Richmond Raceway—Denny Hamlin and his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team have been agonizingly consistent this season.

The very embodiment of Murphy’s Law, Hamlin and his team have found a wide variety of ways to spoil promising NASCAR Cup Series runs.

“It’s been frustrating,” said Hamlin, who is the leading active winner at Darlington with four victories. “I mean, honestly, it’s just been, you know, week after week of being the coyote that gets the anvil dropped on its head.”

Last week at Dover, a tire fell of Hamlin’s car as he left pit road because the tire changer’s gun had inadvertently ejected the single lug in use in the Cup Series this year. Hamlin finished 21st, a lap down. Even with the Richmond win, his average finish this season is 22.5 through 11 races, and he’s 23rd in the Cup standings.

“We’ve had things that just have broken,” Hamlin said. “I’ve had more mechanical failures this year than I’ve ever had. Again, you know, some of these parts that we don’t control, and NASCAR is continuing to change them and develop them to make them better so we don’t have a lot of problems, but we’ve just been kind of the poster child of the ones that break things.