Hamlin Holds on to Finish 12th at Texas
Denny Hamlin finished 12th in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, battling a loose #11 FedEx Office Toyota throughout the 334-lap event won by Kyle Busch.
Hamlin restarted fourth after the final caution with 33 laps to go, but the outside line didn't lend itself well to the loose condition Hamlin was fighting and he began to fall back as the laps clicked at the 1.5-mile track.
"The FedEx car had plenty of horsepower tonight, but I couldn't use all of it because we were on the verge of spinning out every lap," said Hamlin, a two-time Texas winner. "My team did everything they could to try and help, but the chassis never responded the way we needed it to."
Hamlin started sixth and stayed among the top-15 throughout the 501-mile race that was delayed by a little over two hours due to a brief rain shower that passed over the track prior to the scheduled start. The rain brought cooler temperatures and changed the track conditions which played a factor in the handling characteristics for the drivers.
Crew chief Mike Wheeler called for a host of changes during each pit stop and took a couple of big swings at chassis adjustments, but halfway through each run Hamlin would report that the car was still too loose.
The finish moved Hamlin up one spot to eighth in the NASCAR standings, 58 points behind leader Kyle Busch after seven of 26 regular season races. The series returns to action next Sunday, April 17 at Bristol Motor Speedway.