Found October 28, 2012 on
Denny Hamlin didn't receive the homecoming he had hoped for at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.
The Virginia native entered the weekend third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, 20 points behind then-leader Brad Keselowski.
However, although he fought back from several setbacks in the race, Hamlin couldn't overcome electrical issues.
"It's going (expletive) haywire," Hamlin radioed in a panic on Lap 375 of the 500. In 13 laps he dropped to 15th and off of the lead lap. By Lap 391, Hamlin said his gauges were black. Two circuits later, Hamlin lost power completely on the frontstretch, forcing NASCAR to call a caution to remove the No. 11 car from the track.
"The master switch -- the bolt broke off of it and for whatever reason it shut the car off," Hamlin said. "I don't know -- bad luck. I don't know, it's frustrating. You can't put any blame on anyone on this.
"Just the little things that get us. I've been in these Chases for seven years and I've had my fair share of electrical issues and motor issues and things like that. All I can do is just drive my heart out and if it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be. We'll have our time, it's just our time is not now."
With the exception of getting busted on pit road for speeding, Hamlin performed more than admirably. He qualified fifth and cycled to the lead twice for a total of 12 laps despite two costly pit-road speeding penalties on Laps 47 and 200.
After the first infraction, Hamlin battled back from 32nd to the lead in 111 laps. When he was busted again, Hamlin made up 27 positions in 146 laps. Still, there was no coming back from losing power.
Although Hamlin returned to action on Lap 422, he was 34 laps off the pace.
"Just disappointment," Hamlin said. "Just to have to go through a day like that and it end like this is tough, especially on our best racetrack. Going through the adversity of speeding twice and still driving back to the front -- it's frustrating.
"What can you do? We broke a bolt on a master switch and it ended our Chase chances. We'll try to turn the table and get a lot of wins. Definitely disappointing as far as that's concerned."
Hamlin finished 33rd and dropped to fifth in the points standings. He now trails Jimmie Johnson by 49 points. Hamlin, who led the points twice this season, has conceded his shot at this year's title. Over the final three races, the driver says his objective is to "just have fun."
"That's all I can do," Hamlin added. "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."
BEST OF MAXIM
Denny Hamlin’s team worked feverishly to get the No. 11 car back on track, after electrical issues sent them to the garage Sunday at Martinsville. Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR
By: Toby Christie – Follow on Twitter @Tobalical
And then there were two. Just when it was looking like a three man race for the championship between Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski...
The drivers are at Martinsville for the Tums Fast Relief 500 today for the seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase race. Six-time Martinsville race winner, Jimmie Johnson is on the pole, his speed of 927.598 edged out Brian Vickers for the top spot, who is making his last start of 2012 season, in the #55 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing. Johnson has finished in the top ten in 18...
Denny Hamlin showed just why he is a master of Martinsville Speedway Saturday.
Making a rare appearance in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Hamlin started from the rear after missing the drivers' meeting because of a conflict with Sprint Cup practice, then immediately began to work his way through traffic. He bumped and banged his way to the front, finally taking the lead...
After this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway and looking forward, I feel like we're down to three, maybe three-and-a-half men, who have a shot at the championship.
Denny Hamlin and his group took such a hit after the mechanical failure at Martinsville that being able to recover from the amount of points they lost in Sunday's race is going to be next to impossible...
Denny Hamlin spoke to the media after winning Saturday’s Kroger 200 from the Martinsville Speedway. It was his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win following up his win in this race one year ago. It was the first win of the season for Kyle Busch Motorsports as well. Video courtesy of the NASCAR Media Group.
When Joe Gibbs Racing looks back on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season its going to think it was a successful year because all three of its drivers won races.
Denny Hamlin has five wins and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup and teammates Kyle Busch and Joey Logano each have one victory.
But if the Gibbs teams ever really wants to contend for a championship, they've got to get...
If you had to pick any driver to come from the back of the field during a 200-lap race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, the discussion wouldn’t go much further than the name Denny Hamlin. After rain halted NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying twice and the session ended just prior to the start of Sprint Cup Series practice, Hamlin – who is still in the heat of the Chase...
To Denny Hamlin, it was standard operating procedure at Martinsville Speedway.
To Matt Crafton, it was an unjustified bulldozer move.
Regardless of the point of view, Hamlin won Saturday’s Kroger 200 with an aggressive pass after a restart with eight laps left and showed no regret in claiming his second victory at the 0.526-mile track and his second win in 15 career Camping World...
photo credit: getty images
DENNY HAMLIN - WINNER
#11 FedEx Express Toyota
Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.6
Five wins, 13 top fives, 16 top 10s; three poles
Average finish of 11.9
Led 22 races for 1,168 laps
Martinsville Speedway Outlook:
Four wins, nine top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles
Average finish of 6.4 in 14 races
Honestly, everything kind of unfolded Sunday afternoon to some degree the way it was anticipated at Martinsville Speedway.
We talked about it a lot pre-Martinsville. We knew we would have a fair amount of cautions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race; we had 11 cautions for 64 laps. At the same time, we cycled through one set of green-flag pit stops, so all that was pretty much in line...