Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry TRD Preview – Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway
No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry TRD News and Notes
- HAMLIN AT DARLINGTON: Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers with four NASCAR Cup Series victories at Darlington Raceway. His 7.8-average finishing position is also best amongst active drivers. Three of Hamlin’s four Cup Series victories have come in the Southern 500, including his win last September. Earlier this season, he started from the rear of the field and quickly worked his way up to the top five before being collected in a multi-car accident late in the race.
- DEFENDING WINNER: Hamlin kickstarted last season’s playoffs with a win at Darlington Raceway. After starting second, he won stage one and finished fourth in stage two. For the race, he led 146 laps, including the final 69 laps, and fended off a last-lap challenge from Kyle Larson to secure the victory.
- DAYTONA RECAP: The No. 11 team appeared poised to compete for the win in last Sunday’s race at Daytona International Speedway before Hamlin was involved in a multi-car accident when a rain shower wiped out most of the lead pack. Before the misfortune, Hamlin spent most of the race battling inside the top five and he had finally made his way to the front just before the accident happened.
- REGULAR SEASON RUNDOWN: Hamlin enters the 2022 playoffs sixth in the standings. He owns 13 playoff points courtesy of his victories at Richmond Raceway in April and at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, in addition to three stage wins. Through 26 races, the No. 11 driver has posted five top-five finishes, seven top-10s, three pole awards, and 384 laps led.
- PLAYOFF HISTORY: This marks Hamlin’s 16th career playoff appearance. While he is still searching for his first Cup Series championship, he has finished inside the top five in the final standings on seven occasions. Since the playoffs changed formats to feature the current Championship 4 finale, Hamlin has qualified for the title race four times (2014, 2019, 2020, 2021). His best overall finish in the standings was second in 2010.
- SPORT CLIPS: Sport Clips will be featured as the primary sponsor for Hamlin on Saturday and Sunday as he competes in both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Darlington Raceway. The sports-themed haircutting franchise based in Georgetown, Texas is a longtime supporter of Joe Gibbs Racing dating back to 2009 and has more than 1,850 stores in the United States and Canada.
- JGR AT DARLINGTON: Joe Gibbs Racing owns 10 NASCAR Cup Series victories at Darlington Raceway. In 112 combined starts at the historic egg-shaped oval, the organization has tallied 34 top-five finishes, 67 top-10s, two pole awards, and 2,379 laps led. Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, and Martin Truex Jr. join Hamlin on the list of drivers who have taken JGR to victory lane at Darlington.
- TUNE IN: Coverage of this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway begins Sunday, September 4, at 6 p.m. ET on USA Network, MRN Radio, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Denny Hamlin, Driver of the No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry TRD
What is your outlook heading into the playoff opener this weekend in Darlington?
“I feel really good about where our team is at. We have as much potential as anybody in the field if we can just put it all together. Darlington is obviously a great place to get that started with our history there. It would be nice to go in there Saturday, qualifying up front and be able to maintain that throughout the night Sunday. That’s easier said than done, but Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) and everyone on our 11 team is doing everything they can right now, so I’m excited to see it play out.”
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