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August 9, 2020

Denny Hamlin

Brooklyn, Michigan

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us, Denny. Congratulations on a second‑place finish. Walk us through today, what was different about yesterday's race, walk us through your run.
DENNY HAMLIN: Yeah, I mean, we had a good day. Just took us a little bit longer to get to the front than what it did yesterday. Obviously starting up there helped.
Yeah, we geared up our car a little bit more towards the end of this race versus the beginning. It kind of showed up that way. We did a good job of adjusting. Once we got to the front, we were able to show the speed we had. We had the speed pretty much all race, but we were kind of mired back between thirdandsixth.
Overall a good day. Happy we were able to give it a charge there. Just came up a little short.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open up the floor to questions for Denny.

Q. We heard the report that you kept telling Chris that you needed more speed. What were you feeling in the car? What do you feel you were missing?
DENNY HAMLIN: Well, we were just really kind of gobbled up on restarts. We were getting freight‑trained. The 4 car had so much straightaway speed, even if he had a bad corner, he was gaining five lengths on the straightaway. It was nearly impossible to try to block it.
Even when I got to the lead, I couldn't keep it because we weren't fast enough down the straightaway. Once the cars get strung out, handling matters. You can keep the lead if you've got it, if you've got a car that handles halfway decent, halfway decent speed. If the cars get bunched up, big runs, you get freight‑trained. Every time I got the lead, that was the case.

Q. If there was momentum lost, you'd go back, three, four, five spots. That was throughout the field. How long does it take you to recover from that? Do you almost have to reset your mind when you lose that momentum?
DENNY HAMLIN: Yeah, I mean, it takes really a full lap to kind of get your momentum back to where it needs to be. There's not much you can do about it. These cars, you carry so much on throttle time, it's like a slot car, just takes a long time to get that top speed built back up.
That's why everyone wants to have the top mostly on restarts. It's a momentum thing. You don't want to get bogged down three‑wide on the middle or on the bottom. I thought we did a good job on our restarts keeping ourselves towards the front. Obviously was able to get around the 19 there, which was important.

Q. Your thoughts on the choose rule this week? Do you feel you were able to benefit from it? Did you find it easy or difficult to navigate?
DENNY HAMLIN: No, I thought it was good. I thought we had a game plan going into it where when we wanted to choose the bottom or the top, we executed it well. It looked like everything went smoothly. Who knows what happens from 20th on back. It seemed like it worked well.
This is a good track for it. You essentially have two miles to figure it out where you need to be after you choose. Certainly I think it's a good track to kind of start to implement it.

Q. When you look at the stretch of races, how do these races prepare you for the Playoffs? I'm guessing there's not a whole lot that carries over or what does?
DENNY HAMLIN: It won't play a huge factor simply because those tracks are kind of one‑offs that are quite a bit different. You really don't have much that relates to what you'll have, except for maybe the Daytona Roval, whatever it might be, to Charlotte's Roval.
You try to win each and every week, try to gain all the points that you can, keep putting yourself in good momentum going into the Playoffs. That's pretty much all you can do.
Momentum in this sport is week‑to‑week. I think you can win this week and you can finish dead last next week. All your momentum is gone.
Makes you feel good when you can go to multiple tracks, different types of skill sets, compete for wins no matter what kind of track or car that you're using. Seems like there's a couple of us that are doing that right now.

Q. You mentioned momentum. In a year like this with no practice, does momentum mean more or less compared to previous years?
DENNY HAMLIN: It probably means less just simply because, yeah, everything is so different. Like I say, momentum is week‑to‑week. It's probably a little bit oversold, peaking at the right time. All that stuff is probably a little bit oversold for a story more so than it really is.
I just think that if you're fast, you're going to find a way. If you're smart, you'll find a way to make it to the front. If you've got both, you're going to be a force to be reckoned with.
I think all in all we have all the pieces of the puzzle put together. It's just if you want a championship, you have to run good really in one race, and that's all that really matters.

Q. What is it about the show‑up‑and‑race weekends that really suits your driving style?
DENNY HAMLIN: I'm not really sure. I think it's just kind of how I prepare for each event. I feel like I do a good job of putting in the work that I need to to make sure I'm ready for the next race coming up. My crew chief does a great job of picking my brain on how we think we can be better at any given event when we go back.
I jut think it's our process that we really seem to strive right now. It doesn't really fit my driving style other than the cars are driving well because of what Chris and myself are doing between events.

Q. Despite finishing second, how fun is it to be in position to slug it out with one of your rivals like Kevin Harvick?
DENNY HAMLIN: It's fun. I definitely don't like not winning. But we're competitive. We've given ourselves a shot here these last few weeks. We've been right there in contention in every race. Certainly that's encouraging. Just feel like I need to tighten up a few things on my end to be a little bit better. I think we'll be right there where we need to be.

Q. Now that there's been two of these doubleheader weekends, what do you think is the future of these? Are we going to see these more going forward?
DENNY HAMLIN: I mean, I certainly think it's part of the future. I would hope so. I would think so. But you never know. There's a lot that goes into this. A lot of revenue is made for them each and every weekend. When you compile it into one weekend, their revenue is probably going to be a little bit less.
Just tough to say on who has their hand out the biggest and needs the biggest piece of the pie to figure out where all the money goes.
I certainly think from an economic standpoint for the teams, it certainly probably is a better option than coming here, then coming here four or five weeks later.

Q. From a driver standpoint, you like knocking out two races?
DENNY HAMLIN: I do simply because I like‑‑ if I have a race, I like the process in which you have to get ready for the next race. Learning from my mistakes, being able to go right back at it, do it again, I think I'm pretty good at that. I think we've finished now one and two in the back‑to‑back days. We're obviously doing something right.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for taking the time to join us. Congratulations on the finish. We will see you at the road course.
DENNY HAMLIN: Sounds good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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