Denny Hamlin concedes title hopes are gone after Martinsville exit

Denny Hamlin admits he will have to wait another year in order to fight for his maiden Sprint Cup title after electrical issues hampered his progress in an eventful race at Martinsville

Denny Hamlin concedes title hopes are gone after Martinsville exit

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver endured a tough afternoon. He weathered two pit-speeding penalties to get back in contention at the front of the field only to succumb to an apparent issue with the master power switch 107 laps from the end.

"It ended in disappointment, but we overcame the pit road penalties and things like that and just had a great car," said Hamlin. "Just when these things happen you've just got to suck it up and move on.

"There's nothing I could do about it. So, one of these days it's going to be our time, it's just not going to be right now."

Hamlin's recoveries from his two speeding penalties, which forced him to restart from the tail-end of the lead-lap cars, showed he had the speed to contend for a victory that would have boosted his title hopes.

Instead, his 33rd-place finish means he now trails Chase leader Jimmie Johnson by 49 points in the drivers' standing.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who led at the start of the playoff thanks to his four victories during the regular season, claims he will now relax and enjoy the rest of the year.

"Just have fun - that's all I can do," said Hamlin. "Just go out there and be relaxed and enjoy this championship battle that's shaping up. It's a shame we can't be a part of it, but we're going to try to work our way as far up in the points as we possibly can and just keep digging."

shares
comments
Martinsville NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson takes Chase lead with victory

Previous article

Martinsville NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson takes Chase lead with victory

Next article

Brad Keselowski glad to 'survive' Martinsville NASCAR race

Brad Keselowski glad to 'survive' Martinsville NASCAR race
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Drivers Denny Hamlin
Author Diego Mejía
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020