Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Hamlin Overcomes Two Martinsville Speeding Penalties
Despite a pair of pit road speeding penalties and a spin, @dennyhamlin was able to battle back to finish third on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
“My race was eventful to say the least – two pit road penalties, my car wasn’t very good at all up until the very, very end and we just took a long time to get going,” Hamlin said. “It’s just part of it. This racing now is different now than what it used to be when I first came in the sport and its just survival of the fittest.”
Hamlin started the race strong, running inside the top-five. However, heading down pit road at Lap 56, he was caught speeding, sending him to the tail end of the field. Hamlin would immediately begin to try and work his way back up through, but was caught in the midst of a chain reaction at Lap 114, sending him around for a spin.
Following minor repairs, Hamlin would once again start at the tail end of the field. He would make his way back up into the top-three, only to be busted for speeding a second time with 87 laps to go.
Hamlin took the blame for both speeding penalties post-race, saying that they were on his shoulders in trying to make up too much time on pit road in trying to accomplish his only goal of winning a sixth grandfather clock.
Restarting once again at the tail of the field, Hamlin would work his way back up through in the final laps, staying out 46 laps to go when the leaders pitted to take over the lead. He was then able to make the old tires work, staying inside of the top-five en route to a third place finish.
Hamlin displayed throughout the day that he had a strong car, but noted that the short runs hurt him throughout the whole day, including the end of the race.
“That’s kind of where we sealed our fate there at the end with the 47 (AJ Allmendinger), he held us down there just enough to where I was tight, and I didn’t want to jam him up in the wall,” he commented. “I was trying as hard as I could to keep him out there, and he cleared me and the next thing you know the 24 (Jeff Gordon) is coming with tires.”
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