Blown Engine Relegates Hamlin to 30th-Place Finish in CharlotteOctober 10, 2016
Denny Hamlin finished 30th in Sunday’s rain-postponed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, after a blown engine in the #11 FedEx Office Toyota with 26 laps to go spoiled a strong run to start the Round of 12 in the Chase for Sprint Cup championship.
Hamlin led 52 of 334 laps in the race, and was a top-three car throughout the afternoon. Running second behind eventual winner Jimmie Johnson as the laps clicked and teams prepared for the final round of pit stops, Hamlin felt the motor let go with no warning.
“It’s just really disappointing after such a strong run,” said Hamlin. “It was a day to capitalize in the Chase, and our motor let go so close to the finish. We’ll have to regroup and do everything we can now to advance.”
Multiple Chase competitors also found trouble at Charlotte, and the finish moved Denny into the eighth and final transfer spot with two races remaining in the round, Oct. 16 at Kansas Speedway and Oct. 23 at Talladega SuperSpeedway.
Johnson was victorious to punch his ticket to the round of eight, and was followed to the finish line by Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman and Kyle Larson.