Hometown Hero Denny Hamlin Grabs NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Points Lead With Two Races Remaining


Chesterfield's Denny Hamlin has a 33-point lead over defending champion Jimmie Johnson.

If you heard a massive roar in the Richmond area last night, it wasn’t a thunderclap or an earthquake. It was probably the collective cheering, hooting and hollering of the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area, as hometown hero Denny Hamlin claimed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points lead with two races remaining in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Chesterfield’s Hamlin now has a 33-point lead over four-time consecutive champion Jimmie Johnson and third-place Kevin Harvick, who is 59 points back. Notching his series-best eighth win of the season, Hamlin is in prime position to claim his first championship, as the points leader with two races remaining has won every Chase since its inception in 2004.

But, as drivers and fans alike know, there’s no room to let up with two races remaining.

“I’m going to race Phoenix as if I’m 33 [points] behind, to be honest with you,” said Hamlin, who cut his racing teeth at Southside Speedway in the Richmond area. “There’s no comfortable margin going into [the final race at] Homestead, because anything can happen. So for me—Phoenix being an up-and-down race track for me—I’ve got to really be focused on practice day to get what I need…just 100 percent stay focused is all I can do.”

Be sure to catch the final two races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to see if hometown hero Denny Hamlin can knock off champion Jimmie Johnson and bring a championship to the Joe Gibbs Racing team. This Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway begins at 3:00 p.m. EST (tickets available at www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com) and the season finale at Homestead-Miami is slated for a 1:00 p.m. EST start time on Sunday, November 21 (tickets available at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com).

NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway April 29-30, 2011 for a NASCAR Doubleheader Weekend. Tickets for the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race go on sale January 14, 2011.
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