Showing posts with label Denny Hamlin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Denny Hamlin. Show all posts
Denny Hamlin

 He started from the pole and was competitive all night long. After a couple hiccups mid-season, Denny Hamlin is cruising into his latest Chase appearance by rattling off eight straight Top-10 finishes punctuated by a victory in the regular season finale at his hometown track in Richmond. “That's what's so special about get to do it at home, and there's just all the extra Denny Hamlin shirts and hats and everything, and [it] fires me up every time I get here," said Hamlin. "And man, this is a great car. Hopefully we can use it in the Chase.”

Kyle Larson

If Hamlin is one of the hottest drivers heading into the Chase, Kyle Larson isn't too far behind. Larson was able to recover from an early loose wheel to secure his best finish (2nd) ever at Richmond. The Chip Ganassi driver weaved his way through the field off the final restart, and had a car capable of running down Hamlin with a few more laps. “It felt like a video game on rookie mode, having fresh tires like that,” Larson told NBCSN. “It was a fun last restart and to get all the way to second. I felt I could get to fourth, but I got to second, so that was great.”

Junior on Twitter

Junior Chimes In
Since he couldn't actually be on the track at Richmond, Dale Earnhardt Jr. chose to spend his Saturday night live-tweeting the Federated Auto Parts 400 action. From jealousy pangs to color commentary to driver insights and more - Junior's Twitter game was on point. 
26 races down. 10 to go. 16 drivers in the hunt. After a spectacular regular season finale at Richmond, the field is down to Ready. Set. Chase. beginning this weekend in Chicagoland. We've got the entire Joe Gibbs Racing machine gunning for a repeat title, four newcomers, a couple of future Hall of Famers and several former Champions in the field. Who's your pick to win the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup? Let us know in the comments below!

Denny Hamlin

With his victory in the Cheez-It 355 on Sunday, Hamlin picked up his second trip to Gatorade Victory Lane this season and the first road course win of his 12-year career. Sitting P1 after the race was red-flagged with five laps remaining, the Joe Gibbs driver managed to stave off a run for Martin Truex Jr to earn the checkered flag despite driving through the some of the worst pain he'd ever felt. “We worked on (my back) all day to try to make it better. We really didn’t make it much better,” said Hamlin. “If it was Friday or Saturday, no question I wouldn’t have turned one lap today. This was by far the worst pain‑wise I’ve had to go through.” Yikes, and this is coming from the guy who's raced through ACL tears, previous back problems and knee surgeries.

Joe Gibbs Racing

With Hamlin's win at the Glen, Joe Gibbs Racing has won 10 of the 22 races in 2016. Just how dominant has that been? That win total is the same as the number of wins earned by Penske (five), Stewart-Haas (three) and Hendrick (two) combined. Here's a look back at what has undoubtedly been the summer of JGR.

Kyle Busch is back at it again. After his early exit from the Zippo 200 on Saturday, Busch and his wife Samantha toured the Watkins Glen campgrounds and left a surprise for a couple of his fans. The defending Sprint Cup Champion signed a No. 18 decal a couple of campers had on the side of their RV. "They're not home right now, but they'll have quite a surprise when they come back," Samantha says of the RV owners in the video post. Earlier this year Busch surprised a fan while in traffic leaving Martinsville Speedway, and in the spirit of Fan Appreciation we can definitely get on board with this.
Tony Stewart wins in Sonoma

Smoke rises again, y'all. For the first time in 84 races, three-time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart finds himself back in Victory Lane after a thrilling finish at Sonoma over the weekend.  "It's been a tough three years not just for him but everyone that's close to him," his father, Nelson Stewart, said. "I don't know what to say. We all needed that bad. He really needed that bad." After missing the first eight races with a back issue, Stewart is hoping to channel his inner Kyle Busch and race his way into the Chase picture. Sunday's W helps that a great deal. "With about eight to go it was the first time I thought, 'hey, we might actually have a shot to hold onto this,' and I actually got a little bit emotional thinking about it while I was driving," Stewart said. "You didn't have time to think about wine and flowers and ponies and all that stuff. I had to get back to business. But it was nice." Now his attention turns to racing his way back into the top-30 by the season's end in Richmond. Considering he's only 10 points back from Brian Scott, we think the odds are good.

Denny Hamlin finishes Second

Stewart's first win in three years certainly didn't come easy. Denny Hamlin, who finished second on Sunday, battled the No. 14 up to the finish. It was just the Chesterfield, VA native's third top-10 at Sonoma. "I didn’t even think I’d have an opportunity, honestly," Hamlin said. "He made one mistake in Turn 7 and allowed us to get closer to him. He made mistakes that allowed me to get there and get position...Still a pretty good day. This is definitely a step in the right direction on the road course, but man... utterly disappointed." The finish was Hamlin's best since his victory in the season opener in Daytona.

FOX hands baton to NBC

From Hamlin's record finish in the Daytona 500, to the return of day racing at RIR, to Smoke's triumphant return to Victory Lane, the team at FOX has brought NASCAR fans a historic start to the 2016 season. Now it's NBC's turn to take the baton to the season's finish in Homestead - and they take over with things in a really good place. Through 16 races we've seen 11 different winners, and only 31 points separate 12th place Dale Earnhardt Jr from 17th place Ryan Blaney. We hope you're as excited as we are for the second half stretch, culminating at the regular season finale at Richmond on September 10.

Join us in Daytona

Ready for Daytona round two? We are, and we'll be on hand to bring you the action from our perspective. As the sport returns to the World Center of racing for the Coke Zero 400, RIR will be in the thick of it all - and you can come along for the ride. Click here to follow us on Snapchat and get and insider's look at everything going on this weekend in Central Florida.

September 7, 1991: Harry Gant shines “under the lights” at Richmond International Raceway, winning the first scheduled night race at the Action Track. It was the second of four consecutive trips to Victory Lane that month - earning him the nickname “Mr. September.”

September 12, 1998: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon hook up for the closest finish in NASCAR action at Richmond. Burton edges Gordon by just 0.051 second for the win after starting third. His winnings top $100,000 for the first time at Richmond.

September 11, 1999: Future champion Tony Stewart wins his first ever Cup race by edging teammate Bobby Labonte. Richmond remains close to Stewart’s heart; he’s had nothing but praise for the track: "It's not one of my favorite tracks; it is my favorite track," Stewart says. "It is literally the favorite track of mine on the circuit."

September 8, 2001: Virginia native Ricky Rudd loses the lead after being bumped by Kevin Harvick in the waning laps of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400. With just six laps to go, Rudd retaliates with a push from behind to re-take the lead en route to his second win at Richmond. Finishing third in that battle? Dale Earnhardt Jr.

September 12, 2009: “One Last Race to Make The Chase” again lives up to its billing. The Chase field is unsettled until the final lap, as Brian Vickers edges Kyle Busch by just eight points for the 12th spot in NASCAR’s playoffs. Denny Hamlin finally takes the checkered flag in a Cup Series race at his hometown track for the first time.

September 8, 2012: Jeff Gordon rallies from a lap down to race his way into The Chase with a second place finish to Clint Bowyer. Bowyer edged out Gordon by 1.198 seconds in one of the tightest finishes in RIR history. To this day, Gordon considers it one of his favorite moments at Richmond, commenting after the fact, "... It was amazing. I still can't believe we actually did it."

September 10, 2016: For the Federated Auto Parts 400 this September, we celebrate the RIR tradition of racing under the lights with the "25th Anniversary of The Night Race." To get ready, we're offering TWO tickets on the fronstretch for just $91 total.

Joey Logano down pit road

There's Racin in Richmond
NASCAR might have taken the Easter Weekend off, but Richmond fans managed to their racing fix early as Goodyear held a testing session at America's Premier Short Track earlier today. Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Danica Patrick and Greg Biffle all took part in the opportunity to tune up before the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 on Sunday, April 24. "This is drivers' favorite race track," said Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. "If you polled all of us drivers about which tracks we like to race the most, Richmond's always going to be in the top of the list. There's always some great racing and with the (switch) from day to night there's going to be a lot of changes the fans are going to see."

Danica's getaway

From oceanfront to court-side and everywhere in between, drivers took the Easter weekend to get away from the track before NASCAR comes to Martinsville, Virginia for the STP 500 on Sunday. Check out how drivers spent their early season break.

Glen Wood at MVS in 1953

Wood Brothers racing hasn't competed in Martinsville since 2011, when then-Daytona 500 champ Trevor Bayne raced the No. 21 Ford to a 35th-place finish at Glen and Leonard Wood's hometown track. Before that it was 2008 and "Wild Bill from Dawsonville" behind the wheel. This year, they return to the track with Sunoco Rookie of the Year hopeful Ryan Blaney, who has five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races under his belt there. “It’s really a home race for those guys," said Blaney. "It’s really neat to go back and bring the Wood Brothers back there and have them in their hometown and home state. Hopefully, we’ll see a bunch of Wood Brothers fans out there. I think we will.” 
Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano all have a chance to earn their first MVS Cup wins

Only six of the 40 drivers entered into this weekend's STP 500 have taken home a storied Martinsville grandfather clock, so there's a chance Sunday's race winner will be a newbie, and FOX Sport's Tom Jensen focuses in on three who have as good a chance as any to race their way to an MVS win. One is Kyle Busch, who has nine top-5's and 487 laps led at Martinsville for his career and it's the only short track at which the defending champion doesn't have a win. The other two are Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth, who had a run-in last October that broke a three-race winning streak and essentially ended Logano's Chase dreams. Expect plenty of eyes to be on this trio on Sunday.

Wow. Just. Wow.
A star-studded show culminating with the closes finish in Daytona 500 history (0.010 seconds). Now THATS how you get the party started. Check out all that went down in the exciting kickoff to the 2016 NASCAR season.

2016 Daytona 500

Want more NASCAR? For checking us out, we're extending you a special offer for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 on Sunday, April 24! Click here for more details.  
With the Daytona 500 just two days away, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup season ready to get underway, RIR decided to jump ahead a little bit and see who we think is primed to make 2016 their year. We polled all our 37 members of our staff- and the top seven vote-getters are...

Carl Edwards

 "I'm picking Carl Edwards because I love his backflip when he wins! And it doesn't hurt he's really good looking. Go Carl!!"
Suzanne, Operation

Jimmie Johnson

"Jimmie Johnson. Power of the J's"
Jeff, Operations

Martin Truex Jr

"I'll go with Martin Truex Jr. He's a Philly sports fan like me."
Mike, Sales

"Car numer 78 - because he's the only one in the football offensive lineman range."
Chris, Accounting

Dale Earnhardt Jr

"I am going with Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Jr. because like Nationwide, I'm on his side."
Courtney, Communications

"Dale Earnhardt Jr. because 8+8=16! Mathematically, it's his year!"
Kristen, Ticketing

Joey Logano

"Joey Logano. He wants that redemption from last year- and a championship would be a pretty good way to ring in Team Penske's 50 years."
Megan, Marketing

"Joey Logano, because 22 is also the name of my favorite Taylor Swift song."
Emily, Marketing

Kevin Harvick

"I pick Kevin Harvick because I love Jimmy John's and he drives the Jimmy John's car. I get it delivered to my house probably every two weeks!"
Megan, Operations

"I've got to go with Kevin Harvick. I love his nickname 'Happy Harvick,' he has an awesome wife and my favorite number is 4!"
Jacque, Administration

Denny Hamlin

"This is my first internship with NASCAR, so I decided to go with my favorite number, 11. I'm also a huge Redskins fan and he races for former coach Joe Gibbs."
Brian, Marketing

"Hamlin, because I would like to throw a big Champion's celebration in town!"
Dennis, President

Want more NASCAR? For checking us out, we're extending you a special offer for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 on Sunday, April 24! Click here for more details.  
RIR finally finds itself down in Daytona for Speedweeks

After almost 700 miles and 10 hours driving down the East Coast, RIR finally finds itself in Daytona for Speedweeks. To celebrate this truly momentous occasion, we're posting our daily five at five (albeit a bit behind schedule) and taking a look at some of the top storylines heading into Speedweeks.

Like Father Like Son
It's a tall order taking on the legacy of the 24, but Chase Elliott passed his first test with flying colors. With a lap speed of 45.845 seconds, the Sprint Series rookie became the youngest-ever winner of the Daytona 500 pole award. His father, Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, was a four time winner of the award (last won in 2001), making Chase and Bill the fourth father/son duo to win poles for the 500 (Richard and Kyle Petty, Bobby and Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr).

Fans all over the country can share their race day moments with one another thanks to NASCAR's new partnership with Snapchat. Starting with the Daytona 500 this Sunday, Snapchat will cover several races throughout the 2016 season. From the early morning tailgate to the champagne in Victory Lane, users can get an inside look at everything race day through the collective Live Story. For even more of a fix, add us on Snapchat too @ririnsider. 

Vickers Causes "The Big One"
While a back injury keeps Tony Stewart sidelined to start the 2016 season- fan-favorite Brian Vickers will take his place at the wheel of the No. 14. But after missing all but two races last season with blood clot issues, his initial return to a Sprint Cup Series ride was short-lived. A cut tire on lap 23 led to the Daytona "Big One," ending his night early. With plenty of track-time before the 500 on Sunday, there's still opportunity for Vickers to round into form.

In the first Sprint Cup action of 2016, Denny Hamlin took home his third Sprint Unlimited trophy, and second in three years. Only four cars in the field of 25 made it through the race unscathed- luckily for Denny he got his out of the way quickly. After some early race rubbing with Ricky Stenhouse Jr on lap 12, the Chester, VA native managed to race his way to an overtime win over Joey Logano (second), Paul Menard (third) and Kyle Larson (fourth). 

Fanatics Makes Daytona Debut
With over 100,000 square feet of retail space across 33 locations at the track, Fanatics...

Sorry about that. Unexpected John Cena insisted we mention him being the honorary pace car driver for the 500 on Sunday. 

Want more NASCAR? For checking us out, we're extending you a special offer for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 on Sunday, April 24! Click here for more details.

Last Week: Bum knee? No problem! An ACL injury wasn't enough to cool Denny Hamlin last week in Chicago and the Joe Gibbs Racing machine continued it's 2015 dominance (a current three race win streak, and 12 collective wins on the season).  With Hamlin's ticket to the Contender round already punched, odds of JGR sending multiple drivers onward into the Chase are high because...

Earlier This Year: Hamlin's teammate Kyle Busch took home the checkered flag in Loudon back in July, the second of three straight wins during that stretch. Kyle's comeback this season has been one for the ages, and with how well the No. 18 driver has performed this season (four wins, four straight Top-10 finishes including a second place showing in Richmond's Last Race to Make the Chase), there's a strong chance there's more magic to come.

Who To Watch: While he hasn't racked up the wins like he did last year, Harvick has still had arguably his best season yet. He’s on the top of his game in terms of average starting position and Top-5 finishes, and only in 2010 was his average finish better (9th). But after contact with Jimmie Johnson cut down the defending champ’s tire last week in Chicago, Harvick finds himself in need of a strong showing to keep his name in the Chase Championship discussion.
Darlington has been more than kind to the Chesterfield, Va driver
By most accounts Denny Hamlin has had a strong season. His eight Top-5 finishes are already more than he's had in three of the last four seasons, and he's already led more laps this year that in either of the past two.

Denny hasn’t had a multi-win campaign since 2012 – his lone 2015 win came back in March at Martinsville. If he can borrow some of his team’s momentum this weekend at Darlington, Denny might just be able to slap a second winner’s sticker on the No. 11. With a win, four Top-5's and seven Top-10's in his nine races at Darlington, there isn't a track on the circuit where Hamlin has a stronger average finish.

Fueled by some JGR mojo and a special Cale Yarborough throwback scheme (he had five Darlington wins), maybe Denny can channel some of the "Timmonsvile Flash" spark this weekend.