Dover Challenge Ahead for Hamlin

Denny Hamlin

“If the track (Dover) was paved, I'm sure I would run a lot better there, because I have such a good feel on the pavement." (Photo: Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin considers Dover International Speedway one of the biggest challenges in trying to win this year’s Sprint Cup Series championship.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver turned in one of the most dominating performances in recent history last Sunday when he led 193 laps on his way to winning the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

But the Joe Gibbs Racing driver knows his work will be cut out for him this week at the “Monster Mile” and its concrete racing surface as he shoots for a second consecutive series triumph.

“If the track was paved, I'm sure I would run a lot better there, because I have such a good feel on the pavement,” said Hamlin. “But the concrete surface has kind of thrown me for a loop over the course of my career.”

However Hamlin’s most recent success at another concrete track may be beneficial to his effort in Sunday’s AAA 400. He went to Victory Lane last month in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway and believes that experience will help this weekend in Dover.

“I think that what we figured out in Bristol that made our car run extremely well there hopefully will transfer over to Dover this year,” he said. “We know what we need to do to run well. It's just a matter of if I get that feeling and feel comfortable inside the racecar.

“I look forward to it. I think that we have got a lot of good things ahead of us this weekend that we are going to be working on, and you know, for me, it's just such a unique race track that it's tough to get the feel that you're looking for at that particular place.”

Hamlin will have to overcome a 20.5 average finish in 13 career starts at the one-mile Dover track. While he’s hoping the Loudon performance will carry over to Chase race number three, Hamlin realizes there are no guarantees in the competitive Sprint Cup Series.

“It's so week-to-week in our sport,” Hamlin said. “I mean, really, what we did last weekend, as soon as we get to Monday, everyone is focused on the weekend coming up.

“So those good momentum things that you have going and you're running well, only goes until the next week starts. As soon as we hit the track for Dover on Friday, New Hampshire is out the window, and it's how you are running now is what matters.”

The challenges of the remaining eight races left in the Chase schedule will be many for Hamlin including other stops left in the season after Dover.

That’s why Hamlin believes it’s important to capitalize at tracks like New Hampshire where he’s been successful in the past.

“I feel like we've hit our momentum or our stride here in the last month and a half or so, but it's really been getting the racetracks where I'm particularly strong at than anything,” said Hamlin. “It's these bump-in-the-roads like Dover and Talladega that can upset that momentum that you've built on your good race tracks.”

Next MRN Broadcast

On Air Now
Jul. 21, 2017 12:00 PM ET

Upcoming Cup Broadcasts

© 2017 MRN. All Rights Reserved

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

ISC Track Sites