Denny Hamlin: “I appreciate the victories, more now. Because, in my mind, they’re harder to come by.”
Denny Hamlin joined the NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2006. In his first first restrictor plate race, he went to victory lane. Hamlin won the 2016 Budweiser Shootout and got us all wondering, ‘Who?’
434 races later, Denny Hamlin has collected 31 wins. Two of which came in 2017. After 13 years in the MENCS, he’s learned how rare those wins are.
“I appreciate the victories, more now. Because, in my mind, they’re harder to come by,” Denny Hamlin stated from NASCAR media day.
“With data sharing, it completely changed the game in NASCAR. It’s very similar to other sports.”
“I think that Michael Jordan was significantly better than the second best player, in his day. Nowadays in the NBA, the second best is very close to the best. [It’s] because they have more information. They have more data, they’re starting sooner.”
“It’s no different in racing. These kids are starting way earlier in their racing career than what we started, so they’re better. I think the talent pool is better now than what it’s ever been.”
“So it’s harder to win which makes it where you’re happier when you do win. As you get older, you realize that talent is coming in bunches, right behind you.”
“He was instrumental in bringing me to JGR. He was, you know, the reason. He is essentially the reason I got hired at JGR.”
“He’s the one that traveled down to Hickory and watched me run laps in a late model, in the middle of winter. He told his dad that he thought I was something. So, we have a strong bond with the whole Gibbs family. But, especially JD and his family.”
“I think that Joe is priming his grandson’s to eventually take over the reigns at Joe Gibbs Racing. You gotta have a long term plan. Joe can’t do this, for forever. Even though, he’s going to try.”
“Joe Gibbs Racing’s going to be in good hands, no matter who has it. JD was such an instrumental part of my early career. There’s a great picture at my parents house that my mom really likes.”
“It’s my very first start in Daytona. It’s me and JD sitting on the wall and my dad is in the background. It was kinda the passing of the torch. You know, my dad having to finance my racing career and being my mentor, to JD then taking over.”
“That’s a special picture that we have.”
For 2018, Denny Hamlin has a new agreement with FedEx. The longtime sponsorship has been renewed and they had into a new season with the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.