Hamlin Getting Better

June 18, 2017

Denny Hamlin is seeing improvement in recent weeks of the 2017 Monster Energy Cup Series season.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver got off to a slow start but in recent weeks has seen gains, including Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

Hamlin finished fourth in the FireKeepers Casino 400 to give the Joe Gibbs Racing driver a shot of optimism as the regular season rolls on.

“Really good car,” Hamlin said. “You know, everything we needed to do we did. Had one little hiccup on pit road, but for the most part we ran really well all day, had good speed in our Camry and pretty happy.”

Hamlin, who won yesterday's XFINITY race, was in position for a run at the win in the late going on Sunday, which featured a pair of restarts in the final 10 laps. But track position didn’t work to his favor and Hamlin wasn’t able to mount a serious charge to win or challenge eventual winner Kyle Larson.

“The biggest thing is you try to minimize how many spots you lose versus how much you gain, but when you’re sitting there side-by-side for the lead, you’re going to try to do everything you can,” Hamlin explained.  “I tried to carry speed in there and obviously got sucked around there and you just try to minimize your losses at that point.”

But despite still being winless, Hamlin sees better days ahead with the JGR and Toyota camp and he believes being near the front of the field on a regular basis will eventually lead to wins.

“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “I mean, you keep battling in the top-five and eventually you’ll have your chance. Cautions will fall just perfectly for you and pit stops – we know we can gain spots on pit road. We didn’t do that really today, but good effort nonetheless.

“We just hadn’t had the breaks we needed, but overall we’re making improvements.”