Despite already having a win, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin’s struggle continues in the 2022 Cup Series season.
After winning at Richmond last month, Hamlin was expected to turn around his season but he has continued to get any consistent form throughout the season. Speaking about his season so far, the 23XI Racing co-owner made a very straightforward assessment:
“Honestly, it’s just been week after week of being the coyote that gets the anvil dropped on its head,” Hamlin said. “I don’t even know how else to explain it.”
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Despite the win, Hamlin currently sits very low at 23rd position in the Cup Series standing. And the race at Richmond is the only race that he has managed to finish inside the top-10 this season. For a driver who was consistently posting good results last season, this has been a very underwhelming one.
However, it has not always been Hamlin’s fault for the result. At Dover, while the JGR driver was leading, his wheel fell off when leaving the pit road. He spoke about the unfortunate events this season even after having “really fast” cars.
“Even after the wheel falls off, I think we got back to about 10th or 12th or something in the middle of one run and I said, ‘If we don’t just from here, we’re going to lap the field,’” Hamlin said. “Like, this is just incredible. My cars have been really fast. Las Vegas — I had the best car and was leading until I missed a shift. It’s just been a lot of things that have certainly kept us and our result from looking the way it should.
“I noticed and my team doesn’t need to convince me how strong we are or how good we can be, but I’m in points — and this is before last week — and Chase is leading. We have a better average running position of the race than Chase and we’re 23 different in points. So our performance, when we’re not at Martinsville running 30th, has been really good all year; we’ve just had things that have broke.”
Hamlin also added that he’d had more mechanical failures this year than any other season. While he still has a lot of races to turn around his season, but he needs to fix these issues fast if he harbors the desire to win his first Cup Series championship.