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Tag Archives: Denny Hamlin

Running Their Mouth: 2008 Goody’s Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville

_Each week, we'll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It's the most original commentary you'll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway:_ "Finally! The curse is over, I hope. We had such bad luck over these last two weeks. It finally feels good to come here and get a win in front of the hometown fans. I can't wait -- this is a sign of things to come, I believe." _Denny Hamlin_ "We had such an awesome race car the first half of the race. I'm real proud of that, that was a great effort. I'm just real proud of this Dupont Chevrolet Impala team. They worked hard, we had a great car." _Jeff Gordon, finished 2nd_

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Gibbs Asserting Itself In Yearlong Hendrick Battle

Last April at Martinsville Raceway, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon were busy engaging in a spirited battle to the checkered flag. Johnson came out on top, but the ending didn't matter as much as the message; the second win for Hendrick Motorsports in as many Car of Tomorrow events, it proved the opening statement to their yearlong quest for domination. The operation left the track a clear favorite; in fact, the only challenger that stood between a 1-2-3 finish on the podium for the organization was none other than Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin. At one point during that event, Hamlin looked ready to beat ‘em all; but a faulty pit stop cost him track position and, ultimately, the race win for the second week in a row. What resulted was an all-too-familiar scenario; Hendrick was ecstatic, while Gibbs just sulked. As the season progressed, Hendrick looked to be in front of the curve when it came to both engineering and late-race adjustments; Gibbs came to lead the pack simply in "times a team can shoot itself in the foot." But one year later, it looks like the tide is turning.

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2008 Goody’s Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville

The quiet Easter break comes to a screeching halt this Sunday as the Sprint Cup drivers take to the Virginia paper clip known as Martinsville Speedway. Festively painted Easter eggs give way to brightly painted stock cars; and you can bet that on the circuit's smallest track, more than one car will end up cracked by the end of the day. With the unpredictability of Martinsville in full bloom, which drivers will help you dust off the cobwebs from the off week with a good finish -- and which ones will leave you wishing you could take an extended vacation? Read on to see who the Frontstretch fantasy experts think you should use and who you should abuse this weekend in this week's Picks 'N' Pans.

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Is Denny Hamlin Suffering A Junior Jinx?

In every episode of the hit Bravo TV show "Project Runway," the delectable German Supermodel Heidi Klum makes the solemn proclamation that, "In Fashion, one day you're in. The next you're out." Now, I realize you're probably wondering if you clicked onto the wrong website, or if the esteemed editors of Frontstretch are playing some kind of a joke... but hear me out. Yes, Project Runway is not a show I would expect to show up on too many NASCAR fans "can't miss TV" lists, but Heidi's famous line is one that has parallels to our own beloved sport because: "In NASCAR, one day you're in. The next you're out." If you're in any doubt of that, just look into the mindset of Denny Hamlin, because the driver of the No. 11 FedEx Camry has had a nightmare start to 2008.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Food City 500 at Bristol Edition

As Jeff Burton took the white flag for what would soon be the 40-year-old driver's first victory since April of last year, the UPS No. 44 car crawled along the apron as the eventual winner passed. It was *Dale Jarrett's* final lap in a Sprint Cup points race, and just as the 1999 champion had done since his first start in 1984, the 51-year-old raced with respect and gave the leaders room. Few drivers are as respected among the NASCAR garage as Jarrett -- but ironically, Sunday's Food City 500 winner was among that elite group, too. As fate would have it, the same driver who raced clean and accepted a second place finish to Kyle Busch at Bristol one year ago had the race fall into his lap when leader *Denny Hamlin* fell off the pace with a fuel pickup problem a lap and a half from the finish. Now armed with 20 career wins, Burton has emerged as one of the hottest drivers on the circuit, off to the same solid start that propelled him to a spot in the Chase last year.

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The Day The Biscuit Wheels Fell Off Toyota’s Gravy Train

Over the years, Japanese auto manufacturers have built a reputation of building vehicles that are as reliable as the Pet Rock. The rationale behind purchasing a car from the Asian auto giant was its above-average fuel efficiency, and that the machines were as mechanically trustworthy as a St. Bernard with a small barrel of elixir strapped to its neck. But while Joe Gibbs Racing's Toyotas have shown irrefutable speed early on this season, one similarity they have not echoed is the corporate nameplate's distinguished record for reliability and quality control. Yes, the same company that brought you the Lexus luxury brand was also privy to Kyle Busch's intermittent steering and Denny Hamlin's semi-active fuel delivery system last weekend. For during Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol, everything that possibly could go wrong did go wrong with a Toyota.

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Running Their Mouth: 2008 Food City 500 at Bristol

"I just lost it. I got up on the inside there and just flat out lost the thing. I was trying to win the race, and I hate it. The part that ticks you off is the spotters up there (bad-mouthing) you and making you think it's coming from Tony; Tony and I can work it out. We don't need some idiot up there stirring things up. But I just lost it." _Kevin Harvick on contact with Tony Stewart with two laps remaining_ "I thought I left him [Kevin Harvick] plenty of room, but I don't know. I was far enough ahead of him that I didn't see where he hit me or when he hit me. I'm sure somehow it was my fault. I'm just sorry I got in his way." _Tony Stewart on contact with Kevin Harvick, finished 14th_

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Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2008 Food City 500 at Bristol

*The Key Moment:* Denny Hamlin's car sputtered on the final restart, allowing Jeff Burton to storm into the lead. *In a Nutshell:* Let's see what all the folks that said last year the new banking configuration ruined Bristol have to say now. Bristol is Bristol. *Dramatic Moment:* Those final five laps had fans on their feet, and featured more plot twists then a good mystery novel. *What They'll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week* OK, so maybe this *new track configuration at Bristol* is going to work out OK after all?

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol

*In a Nutshell:* Considered a preseason favorite for the Nationwide Series championship, Clint Bowyer officially established himself as a contender on Saturday. With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of skill, the driver of the No. 2 Chevrolet led 122 of 171 laps run to score the win in the rain-shortened Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol. A jubilant Bowyer said afterwards, "It feels awesome [to be in Victory Lane]. I'll take it any way you can get it." Well aware of the rain approaching the race track, Bowyer fended off a series of furious charges by Kasey Kahne, who settled for second in his No. 9 Dodge. Kahne caught Bowyer using the high line, but was unable to find the grip he needed to pass Bowyer on the outside. "I should have pressed the issue a little bit, and I'm disappointed I'm in second," said Kahne. "I should be winning. He shouldn't be winning. I just let him have it."

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