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Will 2023 be the ‘The Year of Hamlin’?

Each year when the NASCAR Playoffs start, fans ask who will win the championship. One driver who is always in these conversations is Denny Hamlin, the driver of the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Throughout his career, Hamlin has been close to winning his first NASCAR Cup Series championship many times but has always seemed to fall short.

But, maybe this year could be different. Hamlin had a dominating performance in the final Round of 16 race at Bristol Motor Speedway last Saturday night.

After the race, however, he was booed immensely by many NASCAR fans which led to an entertaining post-race interview with NBC Sports Reporter, Marty Snider, with Hamlin telling the fans, “I beat your favorite driver!” Marty would follow up by asking him “And who would that be? Denny responded by saying, “All of them!” Once the interview was over the crowd fell silent.

It is too early to say that this year could be different for Hamlin, as the points for the Playoffs are reset following each round. But Hamlin also had a great finish at Kansas Speedway last weekend, finishing second to Tyler Reddick who drives for Hamlin’s team, 23XI Racing that he co-owns with NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Hamlin has three total wins this year including Kansas Speedway in May, Pocono Raceway in July and Bristol.

When asked on the post-race show at Bristol about his confidence in this year’s Playoffs, Hamlin said they are looking better this year and having improved finishes. And though he is doing well now, things can change quickly during the Playoffs

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Quinn McCullough
Quinn McCullough
I'm a Senior Journalism Major at Benedictine College from Kansas City Missouri. Love NASCAR and ARCA. In the future work iI hope to work in sports journalism or sportscasting. I Host a podcast called Good Morning Fancast. I've interviewed Mike Joy, Chris Myers, Larry McReynolds, and many others on my show.


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