Denny Hamlin is in the zone in 2020, and possibly even more so in Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series Drydene 311 at Dover International Speedway. Hamlin swept both Stages 1 and 2 and went on to take his sixth win of the season, which ties him with Kevin Harvick for the Series lead.
After his latest triumph, Hamlin was asked how he’s getting the results he’s had this season.
“Just working hard. Working as hard as I ever have,” Hamlin said. “Can’t complain about anything right now, seems like we have everything going. I just got faith, I just got faith when it comes down to it on that last run when [Chris Gabehart] says go get it, I just go get it.”
Confidence in your crew chief is important, for sure. Hamlin has it. His teammate Martin Truex Jr., on the other hand does not.
Truex had the lead late, but his car developed a loose handling condition. This made passing the lapped Aric Almirola nearly impossible, which allowed Hamlin to close the gap and ultimately strike for the win.
Kyle Busch finished behind his two Joe Gibbs Racing teammates to make it a 1-2-3 finish for JGR.
Kevin Harvick finished fourth after issues on pit road during the race, and Chase Elliott finished fifth after getting roughed up early in the race by Clint Bowyer.
Bowyer finished sixth and he was followed by Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the top-10.
For Johnson, Saturday was huge as he jumped from 25 points out of the Playoffs, to three points ahead of the cutoff. While Johnson was racking up Stage Points and wrapping up a top-10 run, his main competition for the final Playoff spot — William Byron and Erik Jones struggled mightily.
Jones was damaged in a lap-six incident with Kurt Busch, while Byron’s car had handling issues all race long. Jones finished 12th, while Byron finished a disappointing 28th.
Here is the Playoff Bubble, with two races remaining in the regular season:
14. Clint Bowyer, +78 points
15. Matt DiBenedetto, +27
16. Jimmie Johnson, +3
17. William Byron, -3
18. Erik Jones, -22
19. Tyler Reddick, -45
Post-Race Stat Pack:
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.