NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin kept up his hot start to the 2021 season by putting together another top-five finish on Sunday.
Hamlin has started the year out on an impressive note. And on Sunday during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he was just as impressive. His top-five finish gives him his fifth in six races. Talk about consistency. But in the end, Hamlin wants to win. That sentiment was evidenced by his comments after the race.
“Just not fast enough,” Hamlin said post race. “It’s kind of the story so far.”
The driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry offered up some more details on how he thought things went down.
“We’re getting our balance decently close,” he admits. “But just not enough speed, not enough balance, handling – not enough grip. Just need more speed.”
As always, Hamlin is a professional for a reason. He wants to come out on top. He said that he and his crew will go back to the lab to figure out how to keep improving.
“We’ll go to work on it. Just trying to gather a notebook,” he says. “I just hate that we’re having these clean races and everything, but there’s always just one or two cars that are a little bit faster.”
NASCAR: Kurt Busch Takes Jab at Denny Hamlin Following Race
Kurt Busch‘s day was done early on Sunday afternoon after Hamlin collided with him on the 113th lap. The wreck occurred shortly after the start of Stage 2. As the outside lane started to stack up and slow down, it looked like Hamlin continued pushing which sent Busch’s car nose-first into the wall.
The official NASCAR on Fox Twitter page posted a clip of the moment which you can view down below.
“It all stacks up on the restart and Denny Hamlin sends Kurt Busch into the wall,” NASCAR on Fox wrote.
“It looks like he didn’t do anything vicious or malicious there,” Busch said. “It’s just…dude, bro, it’s a 500-miler. These are the days that hurt the worst. This absolutely hurts the worst because we had a top-five, Monster Energy-winning Chevy, and I’m sitting here talking with you guys. I’m pretty pissed off. It’s a restart. Where are we going to go, man? Just chill.”
Coming into the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hamlin had a leading 236 points. No other NASCAR driver had more than 200. Meanwhile, Kurt Busch was sitting in 10th place with 144 points.
The next stop for the racers will come at Bristol Motor Speedway. That’s where they will compete for the Food City Dirt Race on March 28, at 3:30 p.m. ET.