Race Report: Watkins GlenAugust 12, 2014
Late-Race Indident Relegates Hamlin to 24th-Place Finish at Watkins Glen
Denny Hamlin finished 24th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International after contact from behind in Turn 7 with less than seven laps remaining sent the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota into the barriers at the entrance to pit road and causing extensive cosmetic damage.
Hamlin restarted 13th with on Lap 83 and had moved up near the top-10 in the 90-lap event at the 2.45-mile road course won by AJ Allmendinger. While attempting a pass in the final corner, Hamlin was contacted from behind by another competitor, sending Hamlin spinning into the sand barrel barriers. Hamlin came to pit road for repairs, restarted 27th and made up three spots in the final two-lap dash to the checkered flag.
“It’s certainly disappointing to get wrecked at the end of another road course race,” said Hamlin, following the event. “We had a pretty good FedEx Ground Toyota all day, worked our strategy and made some moves to get into position for a solid finish. It wasn’t meant to be today, and it’s frustrating after working so hard all weekend.”
Hamlin started 17th and ran in the top-15 for the majority of the event. Varying pit strategies moved the #11 machine up to fifth before a multi-car incident on Lap 57 brought out a red flag that lasted more than an hour.
When the race resumed, Hamlin came to pit road for four tires and fuel, but with the majority of lead lap cars only needing a splash of gas, Hamlin dropped back to 19th for the ensuing restart.
The finish moved Hamlin up one spot to 20th in the NASCAR standings following Watkins Glen, and still in good Chase for the Sprint Cup position with his victory earlier this season. The Series returns to action on Sunday, August 17, at Michigan International Speedway.