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Hamlin Hangs on for Top-10 at Michigan

August 29, 2016

Denny Hamlin finished ninth in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, battling a loose #11 FedEx Office Toyota throughout the 200-lap event won by Kyle Larson.

Hamlin lined up seventh for the final restart with eight laps to go, but the FedEx car was slow to come up to speed on restarts and Hamlin dropped back as far as 10th before passing Joey Logano in the closing laps to finish just inside the top-10.

“We really struggled with speed all day today,” said Hamlin, a two-time Michigan winner. “The car  was really loose most of the race, but really just lacked the speed that the leaders had for the most part. Struggled in restarts a little bit too on the bottom lane. Overall, we had about a fifth place car and we ended up in the top-10, so not too bad.”

Hamlin started third and stayed among the top-10 throughout the 400-mile race on a warm day in the Irish Hills. Hamlin raced as high as second early on, but a lack of cautions made it difficult for the FedEx team to make the adjustments to bring the car to life with enough speed to lead.

Crew chief Mike Wheeler elected for two tires during Hamlin's final stop to try and seal a top-five for the #11, but Hamlin was forced to restart in the bottom lane and couldn't get the horsepower to the ground, fighting to stay in the top-10 as the laps clicked down.

The finish kept Hamlin seventh in the NASCAR standings after 24 of 26 regular season races.

The series returns to action Sunday, September 4 at Darlington Raceway.