Denny Hamlin’s quest for a NASCAR Cup Series championship continue.
Hamlin came into Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway as one of the Championship 4. But despite having a car capable of competing for a win and a title, Hamlin fell short of his quest yet again.
A decision to add tape to the front grille of Hamlin’s car on a late pit stop in hopes of adding extra downforce and speed backfired. Hamlin’s car began to overheat and he was forced to pit road to ensure that didn’t happen.
When all was said and done, it took Hamlin out of contention and he was forced to settle for a 10th-place finish.
"It’s disappointing but all you can ask for is a chance," Hamlin said. "(Crew chief) Chris (Gabehart) is aggressive, and he tried to give me all the speed he could there and it was too much tape. We were gonna blow up…This thing woke up, I was really excited about our prospects but it got so hot."
Gabehart took responsibility for the decision.
"What we tried to pull off right here is trying to win Homestead and letting the emotion of the moment get the best of you trying to do it, we just got too aggressive plain and simple," he explained. "That’s OK. That’s on me."
So in a year that saw Hamlin win six times and statistically have one of his best efforts since becoming a Cup regular in 2006, he is still looking to add a championship to his resume.
"I sum it up by thanking my team for giving me fast racecars every week," Hamlin said. "I’m happy with where our team’s at, we’re gonna try to get a championship next year, it’s just part of the process, right?"