This past weekend at Richmond Raceway, Denny Hamlin led the most laps for the second race in a row, only to lose the lead near the end and walk away disappointed and empty-handed. Despite being winless in nine races this season, Hamlin remains atop the NASCAR Cup Series standings where he’s been almost the entire season and figures it’s just a matter of time before he puts his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in Victory Lane.
“I mean, there’s frustration, for sure, but it doesn’t change my attitude or work ethic,” Hamlin said after coming home second at Richmond, where he led 207 of 400 laps but was outrun by Alex Bowman’s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on the final restart. “I’m going to work just as hard to win next week and the week after that. You’re a competitor, you want to win. Especially when you have a great opportunity to win. It just didn’t happen. I just got to digest it, look at it and see where we could have been a little bit better. But ultimately there’s nothing I can do. My effort was as high as it could be. There’s nothing that’s glaring that I feel like I could have or should have done different.”
Heading to Talladega, a place where he’s a two-time winner, Hamlin couldn’t be any more confident. “I’d rather be where I am than Alex Bowman,” he said. “I don’t care that he’s got a win. We’re smashing everyone. I’d still rather be where I’m at.”