While the driving on the track is great. Watching a NASCAR winner, like Denny Hamlin on Sunday, burn tires after a race might be better. Nothing beats a good burnout. Of course, no one has done it better this season than Noah Gragson in the Xfinity Series. However, after winning his first race of the season and becoming the first Toyota driver to win a race in the Next Gen car…Hamlin had a lot of reasons to celebrate.
Being at the Toyota Owners 400 and giving the manufacturer its first win of the season and a new era in the sport is priceless. Now, buckle up and get ready to spin around with the No. 11. NASCAR released the footage from Hamlin’s perspective after the race.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver burned his tires down and then parked his car right on the finish line. Placing the Camry TRD right next to the big Toyota logo. That’s how a veteran celebrates a win. This season has not been easy on Hamlin and his team. In fact, it hadn’t been going great for Toyota as a whole this year. So, with Hamlin finally breaking the seal for Toyota in the Next Gen, will we see some others step up?
The JGR team was great yesterday. They had all four drivers in the top-10 of the race. Hamlin in first, Martin Truex Jr. in fourth, Christopher Bell in sixth, and Kyle Busch in ninth. There was some hope at one point that Busch would be able to make a run at the win. However, an infraction during the race hampered his race overall. Still, a top-10 finish isn’t nothing.
Maybe Hamlin follows this up with a top-5 finish in Martinsville next Sunday.
NASCAR Vet Denny Hamlin Rides on Tire Strategy in Richmond
With 50 laps to go, this race looked like it could be won by a number of drivers. William Byron and Martin Truex Jr. had battled hard. Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney started to turn in some fast laps with about 40 to go that worried the No. 24. No one thought that NASCAR vet Denny Hamlin would be taking the checkered flag. By the time it got to 20 laps to go, it was clear that Hamlin and 46-year-old Kevin Harvick were hot on Byron’s trail.
It came down to pit stops and tire strategy. When the race got to the end and Byron and Truex were battling it out, they were doing it on old tires. They just didn’t have the grip needed to get around those turns quickly. It became clear that the No. 11 and No. 4 had better tires and were driving faster laps. And, when it started to get to the last few laps, it just seemed inevitable.
When it comes to NASCAR, Denny Hamlin has been in more than a few race situations. This was a case of a veteran driver and a solid crew in the pit making the right moves at the right time. Hamlin comes away with his first win of the season and delivers JGR a much-needed win as well.