Denny Hamlin would know the areas that the No. 11 team needs to improve for the 2021 season so as to win the championship.
After a dominant showing in the regular season, winning six races, Hamlin faltered in his regular-season form after the playoffs started. He went on to win one race in the playoffs, and although he managed to get himself in the Championship 4 race, unlike Kevin Harvick, Hamlin might be thinking of the ways that he can improve in his playoffs form.
Speaking about Hamlin’s 2020 season, NASCAR analyst David Smith said:
“The bad was this team’s close to the season. They ranked 11th in central speed across the Playoffs stretch. And that doesn’t include Talladega, which was the site of his only Playoffs win this year.”
“So the fix is a more centralized focus on the Playoff tracks, specifically the 750 tracks. Similar to Kevin Harvick’s team at Stewart-Haas, Denny Hamlin’s team aim for strength everywhere. Potentially to the detriment of performance on the shorter tracks.”
“Hamlin alluded to this over the course of the last week, suggesting that they didn’t have the short track performance this year. Certainly not good enough to tip the scales in his favor when it mattered most. And the natural step for the Hamlin-Gabehart combo is a championship.”
“The best crack at that is to focus more heavily on the tracks where they didn’t fare as well in 2020. So maybe askew being historically great and go for the one trophy that you know you’re targeting.”
Hamlin is still chasing his first championship win and he would certainly have to improve on his 2020 performance if he maintains to achieve that aim.