Bold move pays off for Hamlin

Written by  NASCAR Wire Service
Published in Sprint Cup Series News
Monday, 04 March 2013 12:06
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On the final lap—the fourth overtime circuit—of Sunday's race, Denny Hamlin saw an opportunity to take advantage of a second-place battle between Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski.

At the exit of Turn 2, Hamlin darted down to the apron, cutting across the unique dogleg on the backstretch, as Johnson and Keselowski were battling side by side. Hamlin returned to the banking at the entry to Turn 3.

Though Johnson got back past Hamlin before the finish, Hamlin held off Keselowski for third and, as he put it, "overachieved" at Phoenix.

"I wasn't concerned too much, because as far down as I was, I was committed," Hamlin said of the move that gained him a position. "There was nothing I was going to do that was going to back out. I just hoped that I would have slid in front of the 48 (Johnson), but then you risk getting punted and spun and your whole day you worked everything for gets taken away in a corner.

"I held my line and really thought I did the right thing to give those guys still an opportunity to pass me back, and obviously one of them did."



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