Hamlin Tallies Top-10 Finish in Richmond
Denny Hamlin finished sixth in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, overcoming an early pit road violation and persistent battery issues to log his fourth top-10 finish of the 2016 season in the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota.
The Chesterfield, Va., native lined up seventh for the final restart and held off teammate Matt Kenseth over the final 30 laps in the event won by Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards.
"We had a series of things happen to us again today, but fortunately, they happened early enough in the race that we could overcome them to a degree," said Hamlin, a two-time winner at his hometown track. "The competition is just too good to get away with making mistakes and losing track position. Our cars have the speed needed to win, but we just need to work on the little details to close races out."
Hamlin started fifth and ran among the top-three throughout the long green flag run to begin the race. It was a breakaway at the front of the pack with Edwards, Kyle Busch and Hamlin holding a big advantage over the rest of the field. Following a round of green flag pit stops, the race's first caution came on Lap 150. Hamlin pitted for another set of fresh tires, but unfortunately, the right-rear got away from the team during the stop, and Hamlin had to start at the tail end of the field for the "uncontrolled tire" violation.
He spent the middle portion of the race working through traffic, and rejoined the top 10 with 150 laps to go. Following a series of late-race cautions and quick work by the FedEx crew on pit road, Hamlin battled in the top 10 for the remainder of the event.
The finish moved Hamlin up one spot to eighth in the NASCAR standings following Richmond.
The Series returns to action at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Sunday, May 1.