Late Race Accident Spoils Hamlin's Day in Talladega
Denny Hamlin finished 31st in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway after a being involved in multi-car accident with just 28 laps left in the race won by Brad Keselowski.
Hamlin started eighth in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota and the Daytona 500 Champion showed from the drop of the green flag to be one of the early favorites to win, climbing to second after just 20 laps.
Hamlin would go on to lead twice for a total of five laps during the 188-lap event on the high-banks. But with 60 laps to go, Hamlin pitted under caution and collided with another car as he entered his pit stall. The FedEx car sustained damage to the right front forcing the team to make additional stops for repairs, dropping Hamlin to the back of the running order.
As the laps began to wind down, Hamlin tried to advance his position, but was the victim of a late race accident that unfolded in front of him. The team was forced to take the car to the garage for repairs where Hamlin would spend the next 18 laps. He was able to return to the race for the final six laps, gaining one position in the process for the 31st place result.
"It's pretty disappointing considering how well we ran at Daytona earlier this year," said Hamlin. "We had a good FedEx Toyota and I was just trying to save the car for the end, but once we had that issue on pit road, things just went from bad to worse real quick."
The finish dropped Hamlin four spots to 12th in the NASCAR standings, 82 points behind leader Kevin Harvick after 10 of 26 regular season races.
The Series returns to action next Saturday, May 7 at Kansas Speedway.