Hamlin Takes Third at Richmond as Joe Gibbs Racing Goes 1-2-3September 23, 2019
Denny Hamlin earned a podium finish before his hometown crowd at Richmond Raceway Saturday night, as the Chesterfield, Va., native took third in a race that saw Joe Gibbs Racing sweep the top three finishing positions.
After taking the green flag in sixth in his FedEx Office Toyota, Hamlin moved into the top five early and never left. The car was strong for all 400 laps, despite some handling and grip issues that the team adjusted on all evening.
But Hamlin’s No. 11 didn’t quite measure up to his teammates, with Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch dominating most of the race. Truex Jr. won for his second consecutive victory and Busch crossed the line second in front of Hamlin. The finish bumped the FedEx team driver to fifth in the Playoff standings.
“We had a third-place car tonight, and that’s where we ended up,” Hamlin said. “We just didn’t have the long-run speed that my teammates had. But it was a good day overall. We ran in the top five all night, executed well and maximized our day. Our confidence is high going into Charlotte next week.”
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will come home to North Carolina for the third race of the Playoffs and the final event in the Round of 16. Charlotte Motor Speedway will host the series on its “Roval” (road course and oval hybrid) course on Sunday, Sept. 29.