Hamlin Manages 14th at Talladega After Late Race PenaltyApril 30, 2018
Denny Hamlin finished 14th in Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, unable to overcome speeding penalties on pit road in the final Stage in the race won by Joey Logano.
Starting fourth, Hamlin proved to be one of the best cars throughout the day in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, but a strong top-five pack had everyone fighting just to stay near the lead throughout the 188-lap race.
Hamlin managed to lead 11 laps, but while running second in the third and final segment, the leaders dove for pit road trying to hang the #11 out to dry. Hamlin made a split-second decision to get to pit road in an effort to stay with the pack, but was penalized for speeding entering the pits. The penalty would prove to be too much for the team to overcome with just 37 laps remaining in the race.
"It was an error that cost us entirely too much track position today,” said Hamlin. “We had to do something to try and beat the pack, and it was a case of trying too hard. We were having a good day in the FedEx Camry, but that mistake cost us a shot at the win."
Logano dominated the final segment, and was followed to the checkered flag by Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Hamlin dropped one spot to seventh in the overall NASCAR standings following Talladega. The Series returns to action next Sunday, May 6, at Dover International Speedway.