NASCARNASCAR Cup SeriesDenny Hamlin Credits JGR Short-Track Program Improvement with Top Five Finish at...

Denny Hamlin Credits JGR Short-Track Program Improvement with Top Five Finish at Phoenix

By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer — Cover photo by Nigel Kinrade Photography

Denny Hamlin continued his solid 2021 season Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

He finished the race from where he started: third. Leading 33 laps, Hamlin stayed within range late but didn’t have the speed to catch the leaders. The third-place finish matched his season-best finish so far and was the 183rd top-five finish of his career. The biggest thing that the organization took out of Phoenix was speed on short-tracks that they seemed to lack last season.

“Yeah, I think we are happy with that,” said Hamlin. “Obviously, we want to win with our Offerpad Toyota but certainly, the short tracks are something we want to put a lot of emphasis on this year. We just didn’t have the results on the short tracks that we wanted last year, but getting the first short-track win here for JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) – 1, 3 is a good sign that we worked on the right things and we are headed in the right direction.”

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500. Hamlin earned the victory at Atlanta in 2012 and finished fifth last season. 

Christian Koelle
Christian Koelle
Christian returns to Kickin' the Tires again in 2023 for his third straight season. He will mainly serve as a photographer for the organization while also being the main ARCA Menards Series writer. He currently plans to do at least 40 races across the three NASCAR National Series, ARCA Menards Series, IndyCar, and make his NHRA debut at Bristol in June. Christian's favorite race tracks include Nashville Superspeedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Barber Motorsports Park, Martinsville Speedway, and Iowa Speedway among other tracks. One of Christian's dreams is for NASCAR or ARCA to return to Memphis International Raceway.


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