Hamlin expects strong showing in next 10 weeks

Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota hasn’t had the speed this season to match the Stewart-Haas Racing Fords, but Hamlin expects that to change as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season winds toward the Playoffs.

It’s not that Hamlin hasn’t been consistently fast this year. After all, he has six top-five finishes in 15 races and currently is eighth in the series standings. But Hamlin hasn’t had the race-winning speed to match the Stewart-Haas cars – or teammate Kyle Busch, for that matter.

“I think, at worst any weekend, we’ve been an eighth-place car and at best, we’ve been a second-or-third-place car,” said Hamlin, who was second fastest to Stewart-Haas driver Kurt Busch in Friday’s final practice at Sonoma Raceway. “Certainly, the results I don’t think show the speed we actually do have.

“I’m pretty confident the second half of the year we’re going to be pretty strong. I feel like we’ve really made gains over the last month or so. I’d like to get inside the top five in points before the end of the regular season and win a couple races – that’s a goal that we have that is achievable in the next 10 weeks or so.

About Greg Engle 7420 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 Examiner.com 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.