Denny Hamlin Has Plenty To Smile About
Not only was Denny Hamlin not on the list of Road Course ringers; the successful NASCAR driver had not won on a road course in his ten-year career. However, he did get close when he finished second to Tony Stewart in Sonoma earlier this year.
While he might have been off of everyone’s radar yesterday, he emerged the victor of Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at the Glen. What makes this first road course victory even more specular, is that the driver was suffering from a reoccurring back spasm as he battled to hold off Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski after a final restart with four laps to go.
Denny broke his back in a March 2013 crash with Joey Logano, but had suffered from back issues even before that injury.
“I just woke up with back spasms this morning,” Hamlin reported. “Just hits me every three or four months or so. I just wake up and can’t move. Really doubted being in the race car today, to be honest with you, but can’t say enough about this whole FedEx Freight Toyota team,” he continued. “Should’ve won both road courses [referring to Sonoma], which is something we never would’ve predicted going into the year. Sold out crowd, two years in a row, this is a good time. I’ve finally won at all of the [types of] race tracks, so it’s a great accomplishment for us.”
A limping Hamlin, who started the race from sixth, had Erik Jones in the wings just in case he needed a relief driver. Jones subbed for Hamlin last year in the 'Food City 500'.
Woohoo! First RC win. Thanks to everyone @JoeGibbsRacing @FedEx @ToyotaRacing for making this happen. pic.twitter.com/7AosgHgabG— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) August 8, 2016
- Birthday: Nov. 18, 1980
- Hometown: Chesterfield, VA
- Residence: Huntersville, NC
- Cup Wins: 27
- Xfinity Wins: 14
- Cup Top 5′s: 105
- Cup Poles: 23
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