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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hamlin's awesome run proving all doubters wrong

In the business I’m in, some of your predictions are in the ballpark, some are out of the ballpark, and some are so off they aren’t even in the same sport.

I wrote just a few weeks ago about how I thought Denny Hamlin would struggle mightily in the short term due to his ACL injury and the surgery that was required. I wrote how his efforts to win the title were likely over due to this setback, and that he would have to rely on Casey Mears to run well enough to keep him high enough in points to eventually try to break into the Chase.

If you’re been watching lately, you know it hasn’t exactly worked out as I (and many NASCAR fans) had predicted. Hamlin hasn’t struggled post-surgery, he has thrived.

In the past 3 races, Denny Hamlin has gone to Victory Lane twice … with one good leg.
In fact, his wins have vaulted him into the top-12 and Chase territory.

This level of achievement by a guy who just had surgery is quite remarkable, and I have to give credit where credit is due.

One online commenter wrote after Hamlin’s Texas victory that: “I have to admit that Denny is growing on me lol! I couldn't stand the guy for all the whining he's done in the past, but this boy can drive the wheels off a car!”

That’s going to be a popular sentiment if Hamlin’s run continues. Hamlin is showing a lot of heart and ability by doing what he’s doing despite not being 100 percent physically.

If he can keep this up and end up contending for the title, it will be an amazing run that will be remembered for a very long time.

Teammates battle hard
The highlight of Monday’s Cup race, in my eyes, was the great battle between Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. These guys are the closest of teammates and friends, yet they almost wrecked each other out of the race due to their hard battling for several laps. (I’m sure many fans would have applauded if that happened.) You can tell Gordon is sick of losing to his teammate.

This made for some great racing, and I’m glad to see that the old saying “there’s no teammates on Sunday” is still true in NASCAR.

And the crowd goes wild
Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed Jimmie Johnson for the lead early in Monday’s race, and I think a few fans were excited about that. Jr. is up to 7th in points and is starting to rack up top-10s and lead races. Has he turned the corner finally? A win at Talladega next week would be the official proof that he has done just that.

Busch ruins another Nationwide race
5 in a row at Texas? Are you kidding me?
This shouldn’t be celebrated. It’s a travesty. The Nationwide regulars don’t have a chance against cars like these Gibbs rockets with their Cup-level drivers.

A stunning number: The announcers noted that only 1 of the top 10 drivers in the Nationwide race hadn’t run the Cup race.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Denny's victory was unimpressive. Most of the top cars were taken out in the end-of-race melee. He had a top 10 car and some track position. Yay.

April 21, 2010 at 9:17 AM 

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