Hamlin Manages Top-10 at Las VegasMarch 4, 2019
Denny Hamlin finished 10th in Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, unable to overcome a ill-handling #11 FedEx Office Toyota in the race won by Joey Logano.
Hamlin began the day on the front row next to pole-sitter Kevin Harvick and managed to stay in the top-five through Stage 1, finishing fifth. However, as the race progressed through Stage 2, a tight condition began to affect the maneuverability of the #11 machine and Hamlin was unable to gain any spots during the Stage, finishing fifth again.
The FedEx crew made numerous adjustments during the race that would go caution free, excluding the two Stage breaks. During the final stop for the team, Hamlin entered the pits in fifth, but a problem with the air gun cost the team valuable time on pit road and the FedEx Toyota re-joined the race in eighth.
As Hamlin continued to struggle with the balance of the car, holding off challenges from fellow competitors became increasingly more difficult, and as the laps clicked, two cars made successful passes on the #11, resulting in the 10th place finish.
"We had a couple tough pit stops that set us back and we just weren’t fast enough to maintain from there," said Hamlin. "It seemed like we had about a fifth-place car, but we would come in and lose three or four seconds and then some guys would jump us and then it would put me behind some other cars. It’s just so tough to pass once you get strung out that you have to maintain your track position and we kind of struggled with that."
Hamlin dropped two spots to third in the standings following Las Vegas, six points behind Joey Logano.
The Series continues its West Coast Swing with a 312-Lap event at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, March 10.