home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 28, 2018

Denny Hamlin

Ridgeway, Virginia

THE MODERATOR: We've been joined by our second‑place finisher, Denny Hamlin, driver of the No.11 FedEx Freight Toyota.
We'll take questions for Denny.

Q. I know how much this track means to you, what it would have meant to get another win. On the last lap, as they're starting to crash in front of you, what's going through your mind as you duck to the bottom?
DENNY HAMLIN: Crash harder. Just crash harder. That's all I was hoping. I was trying to get as close as I could. Just took me so long to get around the 18 and the 2. Our car just would not take off on the short run, was so exceptionally good on the long run. 40‑lap run at the end just was a killer for us.
I don't think I would do anything different. I mean, I rode behind the 18, trying to be respectful of him. Obviously, his situation, you don't want to move a teammate out of the way, especially if he needs that one point when it comes down to the end.
I knew we were fast enough to drive up there and pass those guys. Just took me six, seven laps, maybe ten, to get around the 18, three or four more to get around the 2. I just ran as hard as I could the last three laps to get as close to the front two as possible. I knew something would happen. I just wanted to be as close as I could, hopefully capitalize. Just a 10th away.

Q. In the position that you're in, what's the balance over those closing laps of being respectful to the championship contenders but trying to chase the win?
DENNY HAMLIN: It stinks. Ultimately the reason we lost that track position is we were letting teammates in. Ultimately that's what we agreed upon. I would expect the same things from my teammates if I was in that situation, they were me, I was them, so...
That part of it stinks. It's twofold, you hope you're the guy getting let in next time. We worked really well together as teammates. I thought it was a great team effort. Hoping one of our cars would get a win, but obviously it didn't. We all had a good showing. Looks like the two Toyotas that are left obviously are in a good points position.

Q. Did you feel that was a fair move or unfair move? What are your thoughts on that?
DENNY HAMLIN: I think it depends who your favorite driver is. The people that don't like it, people that don't like Joey, the people that do like Joey. I think it's just all about who you are, whether they like you or not.
I think the 22 saw he was in a vulnerable position. They were side‑by‑side for two laps. The 22 was on the outside. That's a position where you can't do anything to the leader. So it looked like to me that he conceded the spot on the white flag lap. Once I saw that he conceded the spot, followed in behind him, I knew we were in for an exciting turn three and four.
I knew it was coming. Everyone probably saw it was coming. I just think it would have been still a cool battle if they would have just stayed side‑by‑side. I think the 22 thought he wasn't going to win that way.

Q. You've been in that position before. How much pressure is it on a driver racing that close, knowing that's their shot to make it to the championship round?
DENNY HAMLIN: Yeah, it's super high stakes. But also the 22 and the 78 were up front all day, so they had quite a bit of stage points. Ultimately you can't count on who's going to win the next two weeks. They can't count on getting in on points.
Ultimately, you don't want to jeopardize both ways of getting to Homestead, both a win and through points. That's why I was so surprised the 22 was fighting us tooth and nail there for one point at the end of the second stage. But we were racing for the stage win. If the roles were reversed, I'd be thinking, That guy has nothing to lose, I do.
They had a lot of nerve, but they kept up front. 2 and 22 were super aggressive on restarts. That allowed them to be fast on the short run and ultimately put the 22 and 2 in a good position to win at the end.

Q. It seems like everyone today has a fix for NASCAR, rules packages, schedules. That has to be the fix watching it on TV?
DENNY HAMLIN: Certainly. We've had some great races, great finishes this year. Ultimately it all involves short tracks. You take aerodynamics out of the way, you get back to old school racing, you can have this every week if you really want it, no matter what car we drove. If it had six tires, 12‑inch spoiler, no spoiler, you would have racing like this no matter what package, as long as the racetrack allows it. This one does.
THE MODERATOR: Denny, thank you.
DENNY HAMLIN: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297