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Hamlin Finishes 21st at Dover

May 7, 2019

Denny Hamlin finished 21st in Monday’s rain-postponed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, in the event won by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. Hamlin cut a right-rear tire after contact with the wall shortly after the start of the final stage, sending the #11 into a spin and losing multiple laps to the leaders.

“It was a tough day for our FedEx team,” said Hamlin, following the race. “We missed the balance on our car to start the race, and spent the first half making as many changes as we could. Then, we finally got some track position and I brushed the wall which cut a tire. Overall, an eventful day.”

Hamlin started eighth but immediately felt something amiss in the #11 car’s handling. He was battling a loose condition throughout Stage 1. Crew Chief Chris Gabehart called for a host of changes during each pit stop to try to tighten the car up as Hamlin battled to stay on the lead lap.

The car started to come to life at the end of Stage 2, and after a quick pit stop during the break, Hamlin lined up 14th to start the final stage. He rocketed up to 11th on the restart, but brushed the outside wall in Turn 4 making a three-wide pass. The damage seemed insignificant until his right-rear tire came apart less than a dozen laps later.

The finish dropped Hamlin to fourth in the NASCAR standings following Dover, behind leader Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick. The Series returns to action on Saturday, May 11 at Kansas Speedway.