NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin was in Phoenix on Monday meeting with fans and participating in a media tour to promote the Nov. 11 AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Hamlin currently ranks third in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup points standings, 20 points behind points leader Brad Keselowski. While in Phoenix, he discussed his prospects for winning the title and what fans can expect on Veteran’s Day, during the running of the AdvoCare 500, the semi-final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
“You want to put yourself in position that when you go to the final race in Homestead you’ve got a shot at it,” said Hamlin. “The fall race for us in Phoenix is when you have a little more at stake, we’ve got to make sure we have a shot at Homestead and the only way to do that is to go to Phoenix and perform.”
Hamlin won the most recent race at PIR, capturing the checkered flag at the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ last March. The 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year has compiled 22 Sprint Cup Series victories during his career and earned 11 Sprint Cup Series Poles.
The fact that he has won four times during his career at Martinsville Speedway, twice at Texas and is the reigning winner at PIR, gives Hamlin supporters even more hope that their favorite driver will capture his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in 2012. And Hamlin appreciates the fans who turn out for each race to support him at PIR.
“The fan turnout at Phoenix is second to none,” said Hamlin. “They’ve really done a great job of making the fan experience a family experience for everyone and it is what it is because of that.”
Hamlin is scheduled to participate in Goodyear tire testing at PIR this week, a closed event which will help him prepare for the AdvoCare 500. He admits that PIR presents a unique challenge that he fully embraces.
“I like the race track in particular because it’s unique, it’s unlike of any other design of a racetrack that we go to,” Hamlin said. “There’s banking in one corner, flat in the other, sweeping corner in one, flat type corner in the other, so it’s very different, you won’t use this setup any other place you go to, so I enjoy finding a car that works well in all four corners that are different.”
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title contenders know they can make or break their title hopes on Nov. 11 in Phoenix, and Hamlin for one, is leaving nothing to chance.