Hamlin content with run at Talladega

Matthew T. Thacker/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

Despite numerous playoff drivers being knocked out of the Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Denny Hamlin was content with having this race in the middle of a round during the playoffs.

Because it is one of the many disciplines on the NASCAR circuit, Hamlin finds it hard to argue that Talladega should not be in the playoffs because drivers cannot control their fate.

“It’s unfortunate for those who got caught up in it. When it comes to the playoffs in our sport, super speedway racing is part of a technique in which we race at four times a year. It’s hard to argue that it shouldn’t be in the playoffs, but so many times you cannot control your fate.”

The race saw nine of the 12 playoff contenders caught up in accidents. Hamlin knows that there are some competitors that wish a super speedway was not in the playoffs due to the fate factor. Compared to other sports, Hamlin knows that having 39 other competitors on the track that could make a mistake makes NASCAR unique.

“I’m sure there are a lot of competitors that say they wish it wasn’t because you can’t control your fate. In no other sport does your competition make a mistake and it costs you. In our sport, it does.”

Hamlin is glad that NASCAR and Talladega agreed to move the event to the middle of the round compared to the cut-off race position.

“It’s good that they at least moved it to the middle race. Nobody knew where they were. Now you have to go to Kansas and perform.”

As numerous playoff contenders continued to get eliminated from on-track competition due to accidents, Hamlin saw signs that the closing laps would get intense and wild. Hamlin knew that it was only him and Brad Keselowski left of the playoff contenders.

“I looked and we lost a few playoff cars here and there in each wreck. You are looking around and it’s like me and brad are the only two that are left that are playoff cars. You knew that it was going to be wild amongst those other guys who didn’t care about nothing but winning. We kinda got the finish we thought we were gonna have.”

Although he finished in the sixth position, Hamlin felt he could have left a little more on the racetrack.

“You always want to win, I don’t care about the points. Our FedEx Toyota team really did a good job all weekend. The three big wrecks that happened, they all started in front of us and somehow we got through every time so it was quite amazing. Still a good day overall, but wish we had a little more.”

With his finish at Talladega, Hamlin remained in the fifth position in the points standing. He gained 18 points on the day. He sits 36 points to the good going into the elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

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