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« Could Kevin Harvick be this year’s Tony Stewart? | Main | NASCAR takes a backseat on television during second Chase weekend »

Making good on guarantee will be tough for Hamlin from 32nd on the grid

By admin | September 21, 2012

By Richard Allen

 After a disappointing 16th place finish in which he ran out of gas in the closing laps of the first Chase for the Championship race last week in Chicago, Denny Hamlin took to Twitter and promised improvement. The driver who some had considered a favorite coming into the playoff posted, ”This is week 1 of 10. We will win next week.”That finish has Hamlin in 4th place in the overall standings, fifteen points behind leader Brad Keselowski.

But after the guarantee of a win this weekend in New Hampshire, Hamlin and the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing team were only able the manage a 32nd place result in Friday’s qualifying session on the relatively flat, one mile track. That was the slowest effort among the twelve championship contenders.

Aside from the fact that there are 31 other cars between Hamlin and the lead, he will have to overcome other potential stumbling blocks to make good on his tweeted promise. Pit selection is based on qualifying which means the #11 crew will probably have a space that will place them among pack of cars that will be coming and going on pit road with no easy entrance or exit.

And more, there is the possiblity of being swept up in someone else’s mess as Hamlin attempts to work his way forward. Poor track position is always difficult to overcome and factors such as aero-push and debris on the grille are more likely further back in the pack.

But all of those factors do not necessarily make winning from the rear impossible. According to reporter Dustin Long, Kurt Busch won at New Hampshire from the 32nd starting spot in 2004 while Jeff Burton took the checkered flag from all the way back in 38th in 1999.

While Hamlin now claims that his tweet was only meant as a “We’ll get them next week” type thing, the fact of the matter is that this driver and team gave away valuable championship points when their Toyota was not properly fueled during their final pit stop. A win might not be a necessity this week, but a good run certainly is. However, starting 32nd will not make that task and easy one.

Topics: Articles |

3 Responses to “Making good on guarantee will be tough for Hamlin from 32nd on the grid”

  1. Josie Says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Is it possible we are now seeing the “unexplained” reasons SHR parted ways with Grubb?

  2. Tony Geinzer Says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I really think Grubb was the Hendrick Energy and I doubt Smoke and Hendrick are happy to free Grubb.

  3. Offkilter Says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    The 11 team has been bringing some incredibly fast cars to the track. You’d think the way that team and driver have choked in the chases before that denny would stay low key and let results do the talking.

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