Last weekend’s Ruoff Mortgage 500 in the Phoenix Raceway marked the fourth race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series. Denny Hamlin, one of the most decorated drivers in all of NASCAR, went into the Phoenix hoping for his first victory of the season. Sadly, he instead found himself in a sticky situation.
Ahead of the Cup Series race, NASCAR applied a resin-based traction compound to the track. Though the “sticky stuff” is meant to add more grip for the stock cars’ treadless tires, not every driver appreciates the alteration to the track.
Denny Hamlin, for one, was not pleased. On the contrary, the No. 11 driver said that it created a “one lane track,” which caused a “freight train around the top.”
Guess the Phoenix Raceway didn’t exactly resin-ate with the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. Hopefully for Hamlin, his point of view gains traction with NASCAR officials.
The sticky stuff made it a one lane track. Phx is better then that when it’s not a freight train around the top. https://t.co/cOFAu3733o— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) March 15, 2022
Coming in 13th place after starting in the No. 2 position was no doubt a frustrating experience for Hamlin, but hope is far from lost. As there are still 22 more races in the regular season, Denny Hamlin still has plenty of opportunities to score a win or two and take his place in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs later this year.
NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Prepared for Phoenix With His Own Racing Simulator
Although NASCAR drivers are allowed to practice ahead of each race, their practice time comes with severe limitations. Let’s use last weekend’s Ruoff Mortgage 500 as an example. Before the race, Denny Hamlin was permitted 4 practice sessions on the actual track.
If he wanted to practice outside of those 4 sessions (he certainly did), he would have to use one of NASCAR’s select tracks designed for race car development. Even then, however, taking a stock car out on an actual track is both expensive and time-consuming.
Thankfully, modern technology provided a solution: high-tech racing simulators. And you better believe Denny Hamlin not only has a simulator but that his is absolutely top-of-the-line.
These simulators vaguely resemble arcade racing games, but the machines used by NASCAR drivers are actually far more complex. They’re so high-tech, in fact, that purchasing one requires spending about the same you would on an actual car.
That said, though they’re sickeningly expensive, you can’t put a price on the ability to practice. The additional time behind the wheel is invaluable, even if it’s in a virtual race.
During Sunday’s iRacing event, I’m pledging $100 for each lap I lead and $5000 if I win the race to benefit families affected by COVID-19 in the Homestead-Miami area. @NASCAR_FDN @feedthechildren. Who’s with me? @JoeGibbsRacing @KyleBusch. For more info https://t.co/tibiUfh4oK https://t.co/tH3q2EfD4R pic.twitter.com/1ADXTXOPoe— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) March 20, 2020