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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Denny Hamlin
Mark Taylor previews the season finale at Homestead where Kevin Harvick will seek his second championship.
Denny Hamlin’s victory at the Bluegreen Vacations 500 Sunday puts in in the final four to win the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Kyle Busch heads C.J. Radune’s lower-risk lineup after leading more than 100 laps in each of the last three Phoenix races and winning the last two.
Mark Taylor previews this week's race at Phoenix where the Chase will cut the Round of 8 in half as the championship round awaits.
Kevin Harvick’s victory in the AAA Texas 500 earns him a spot among the final four championship contenders in the Miami finale in two weeks.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
The Joe Gibbs Racing star is coming off a typical season for the No. 11 Toyota team. Hamlin racked up two victories and 22 Top-10 finishes en route to finishing sixth in the driver standings for the second-straight year. That's been the pattern and the mark for this driver and team for the last three seasons. Crew chief Mike Wheeler and Hamlin have found a good level of consistency and the ability to win races, but they're just shy of the serious championship contender level. Although Hamlin came painfully close to making the Championship 4 at Homestead, but came up just short. With the retirement of Matt Kenseth, we expect more focus at Joe Gibbs Racing to fall on Hamlin and his race team. He and Kyle Busch are the faces of the franchise now, and championship contention is the ultimate measure of success. We expect to see Hamlin race with some real urgency in 2018.
The Joe Gibbs Racing star is one of the streakiest driver's in the Monster Energy Cup Series. Hamlin is known for his classic hot and cold streaks throughout each season. He can go on a tear for several races and be the best driver in the series or he can go completely stone cold for a period. However, it all seems to work out in the end and he'll post 2-to-3 wins and 20-22 Top 10's with a Top-10 finish in the final driver standings most of the time. 2016 was a high point in some ways as Hamlin managed a career-best 11.8 average finish. This was due in large part to much better qualifying than Hamlin typically does over a season. Hamlin and crew chief Mike Wheeler will be reunited in 2017 and they'll get right to work on improving on what was a pretty good campaign last season. This is a contract year for Hamlin, so motivation to push even higher will be priority.
There was some good news and some bad news for the driver of the No. 11 Toyota in 2015. While Hamlin rebounded to two victories and 20 top-10 finishes, it was his inconsistency late in the season that prevented him from making the Championship 4 in the Chase like he did in 2014. The disappointment of not racing for the title at Homestead was a bit mitigated by the fact that Hamlin performed better and more consistently than he has the two previous campaigns. The veteran driver will have a new crew chief in the upcoming season with Mike Wheeler taking over the duties during the offseason. Considering that Joe Gibbs Racing in general is on the rise, we can only be very optimistic that Hamlin will continue his upward trajectory in 2016.
Last season’s Chase for the Cup was like a tale of two seasons for Hamlin. He started the 10-race playoff with one victory and three Top-10 finishes, but in the second half he faded miserably. Hamlin only posted one Top 10 in the final five races of last year and limped to the finish line of 2012. That gave the driver of the No. 11 Toyota a sixth-place finish in the final driver standings. As good as Hamlin can be, he often shows mental fragility when it’s all on the line. Still, his 18 victories the last four years rank him among the elite in NASCAR. A potential championship may lie just out of reach for a time for this talented driver, but race wins and many Top 10’s are certainly in his near-future with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Hamlin filled in the last races of 2005 for Gibbs in the #11 car very well. He captured the pole position at Phoenix and collected a few top 10 finishes in his handful of starts. A rookie of the year award could be in the future of Hamlin this season.
More Fantasy News
Set to have surgery
Top-5 Finish at Martinsville
Hamlin finished fourth in the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday afternoon.
Wins First Data 500 Pole Position
Hamlin won the pole position for the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway Saturday afternoon. He turned a fast lap of 97.840 mph.
Wins the Hollywood Casino 400
Hamlin won the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway Sunday afternoon.
Third at Talladega
Hamlin finished third in the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway Monday afternoon.