After a bold tweet claiming he would win at New Hampshire, Denny Hamlin took it back later, saying there weren’t any guarantees. “One thing we do have? #Faith,” is what he added. Then, he backtracked and said he called it.
Well, either way, Hamlin seems like a psychic.
The #11 had a miscue in qualifying, putting them in 32nd for the start of the race. As the media flocked around the driver during pre-race, he made another prediction: “I’ll be in the top ten by lap 100.”
To put it in perspective, he was in twelfth by the competition caution on lap 40. He captured the lead on lap 93.
Nobody was as dialed in as Hamlin, so he practically ran away with it, overcoming a few debris cautions. There was no doubt that the confidence helped him in some way.
This New Hampshire win comes after running out of gas near the end at Chicagoland and the pit road mistake at this track back in July. In shades of redemption, Denny captures his fifth win of the season. He is poised to make that sprint to the championship.
Even more cool? This is the 100th win for Joe Gibbs Racing. In Victory Lane, owner Joe Gibbs stated, “I’m thrilled to have Denny driving for us.”
Top five finishers include Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, and Kasey Kahne. Chasers who didn’t have a good day? Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, and Martin Truex Jr. didn’t make much noise today.
Non-Chaser Kyle Busch led for a while, showing his stuff, until the engine dropped a cylinder. Joey Logano, Brian Vickers, and Ryan Newman broke up the party also, finishing seventh, ninth, and tenth respectfully.
In the end, there was some good racing, but it wasn’t a race to particularly remember. Don’t worry, though: Dover will fill the carnage-quota easily.
Here are the points after New Hampshire:
Jimmie Johnson (-)
Brad Keselowski (-1)
Denny Hamlin (-7)
Tony Stewart (-10)
Kasey Kahne (-15)
Clint Bowyer (-15)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-26)
Kevin Harvick (-31)
Greg Biffle (-33)
Martin Truex Jr. (-34)
Matt Kenseth (-35)
Jeff Gordon (-45)