“I Don’t Have That Mentality”- Denny Hamlin Reflects on Not ‘Shoving Out’ Joey Logano in NASCAR Bristol Dirt Race
At the Bristol Motor Speedway, Joey Logano seized victory on the dirt surface. He had a stiff battle with Denny Hamlin in the Joe Gibbs Racing. However, the Penske driver managed to prevail and earned his third career Bristol win, recording his first-ever dirt race win in NASCAR machinery.
During the final restart, Logano jumped Denny Hamlin on the overtime restart. However, there was a bit of bad blood between the two as Logano cut off Hamlin.
Since the JGR driver had to back off to avoid a crash, Logano took capital advantage and raced away. As a result, the #11 driver was forced to settle for 3rd place behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
What did Denny Hamlin say about the close call?
In light of the Logano incident, Hamlin said, “Yeah, definitely. I mean, he’s doing what he has to do to protect the lead. I’m trying to get it from him. Just wasn’t aggressive enough. I should have shoved him out.
“When I had position on the bottom, I should have just moved up and got him in the dust, and got rid of him. Just wanted to pass him clean. I didn’t, so I didn’t win…Think me and the #22 race differently. I don’t have that mentality.”
Although Hamlin may be disappointed to lose, he is relieved that he still leads the championship. On the other end of the scale, he would love to grab his first win of the season.
A number of 2nd and 3rd place finishes can only get him so far in the championship. At some point, he needs to reach Victory Lane and kick-start his season.
Last year was a dream season for him, where he almost matched Kevin Harvick for the most season wins. However, the Stewart-Haas driver won that battle, but Hamlin won the war with his Top-4 finish.