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Hamlin Climbs His Way to Top 5 at Virtual Bristol

April 6, 2020

Denny Hamlin clawed his way from the back of the pack to a fourth-place finish in Sunday’s eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series event at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway, earning a top-five in the “Thank you FedEx team members” Toyota.

The event was the third in the iRacing video simulation series and the first featuring heat races before the main event. Hamlin spun and incurred damage during his 50-lap heat race, relegating him to the back of the starting grid. Rolling off 26th for the 150-lap main event, he raced with the damage for much of the day, gradually making his way toward the front.

Once he reached the top 10, Hamlin used a fast repair – one of two “resets” allowed – to fix his FedEx Camry and give him a chance to race the leaders. He gained six more positions in the remaining laps but never caught up with the dominant car of William Byron, who led most of the day and won the race.

“I definitely need to do a better job at qualifying because it was just so hard to race up to the front from where I started,” Hamlin said. “We just ran out of laps to try to catch William. But I’m proud of a top-five finish for everyone at FedEx. We had the ‘thank-you’ paint scheme for their 475,000 team members who are working so hard right now, so I’m happy to get a good finish for them.”

Hamlin has one win and two top-fives through three races in the Pro Invitational Series, a non-points campaign.