Sunday was a good day for NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin. Just ask Denny, as he tweeted Sunday evening, “Today was a good day. #TeamToyota” following Hamlin’s big-time victory at the Richmond Raceway. It was his first victory in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series and a big won for him and his team.
NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Wins in Richmond
This was a monumental victory for NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin at Richmond for a multitude of reasons. For one, Hamlin was yet to finish in the top-10 at any point this season before his victory on Sunday. It was also a hometown victory for Hamlin. The driver is from Chesterfield, Virginia, so that just added another wonderful wrinkle to his first victory in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series. He told the media after, “Yeah, just great strategy there. Just drove as hard as I could.” Remember, Hamlin took the lead with five laps to go from Hendrick Motorsports’ star William Byron. Not only that, he was able to keep veteran Kevin Harvick from the checkered flag by just .0552 seconds. How wild is that, folks?
Hamlin added, “There was no doubt in my mind, maybe just a little, but they got this car right there towards the end. Wow, unbelievable.” Very classy from Hamlin. He gave all the love to his team at Joe Gibbs Racing for piecing together a car that could do the dang thing on Sunday afternoon in Richmond. It worked out.
How Other NASCAR Drivers Finished on Sunday
Harvick added, “Had a shot there at the end.” He was so close to notching his first 2022 NASCAR Cup Series victory, too, on Sunday. He added, “I wanted to be close enough with the white to just take a swipe at him. Yeah, the lapped cars there kind of got in the way and I lost a little bit of ground.” It just was not meant to be for Harvick.
Hamlin’s teammate Martin Truex Jr. said, “At the end I think we just tried to gamble … on beating the 24. He ended up trying to do our strategy, which we both screwed up.” What Truex is talking about here is the strategy that was used on Sunday afternoon between the four drivers. Truex and Byron went 90 laps without changing their tires, while Hamlin and Harvick traded theirs out with fifty laps to go. The latter made the difference.
Ryan Blaney led the pole on Sunday. However, after leading for over seventy laps, it was not meant to be. He told the AP, “I wanted to run better, but I can’t complain about it too much.” He concluded, “We just have to find a little bit more speed, but it was nice that we kind of put together some decent notes and have an OK run at Richmond.”
Only two weeks until NASCAR heads to Bristol for the Food City 400.