Denny Hamlin recovered nicely from starting at the back of the field, didn't he?
Hamlin was a distant fifth when the caution came out for Ken Schrader's crash with three laps to go in Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix, but after the ensuing restart and thanks to this incredible pass, he finished third.
He was able to carry enough momentum through the shortcut and cleared both drivers entering turn three, and incredibly, was able to stab the brakes quickly enough in the corner to prevent the car from sliding up the track. However, Johnson was able to capitalize as he and Hamlin came off turn four and swiped second place as the two banged doors at the finish line. Yeah, it only netted Hamlin one spot instead of two, but damn, that was a nice move.
Perhaps most importantly, Hamlin's engine made it to the finish. Both he and teammate Kyle Busch started at the back on Sunday thanks to pre-race engine changes (Hamlin lost an engine during practice on Saturday), but Hamlin was able to drive through the field and capitalize on the race's never-ending differing cycles of pit strategy. Busch hit the wall twice and finished 23rd.
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- Motor Racing
- Denny Hamlin
- Jimmie Johnson