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Source — Joe Gibbs Racing
Date Posted — October 14, 2004
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GARDINER, Me. -– While the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series was in Fontana, Calif., racing at the 2-mile California Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Denny Hamlin found himself in rural Alabama. Hamlin was at the wheel of a car competing in the Automobile Racing Club of America race at the 2.6-mile Talladega Superspeedway. With only one start on a track larger than one-mile on his resume, Hamlin was looking at the experience as an opportunity to learn how to handle racing at high speeds and in the draft.

And learn he did. Hamlin raced among the top-10 all afternoon, and as the race wound to a conclusion, he found himself in the mix to win among the top-4 drivers raced for the checkered.

“That was a lot of fun, and we really did learn a lot,” Hamlin said. “We went to Vegas with the Truck, and that was really the first time I had a chance to race anywhere that the draft came into play like that. I knew I had to get more experience running in traffic at those speeds, and going to Talladega gave me that opportunity. Even if we didn’t come out of there with a good finish, as long as we got comfortable in the draft we were going to consider it a success. To come out of there with a third-place finish, we are just ecstatic.”

Hamlin hopes that experience will come in handy when he hops behind the wheel of the Team EJP Racing No. 03 E.J. Prescott, Inc. Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. TMS is routinely one of the fastest venues on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, and the draft is usually just as strong at Texas as at Daytona.

“I hope what we learned will translate over to Texas with the truck,” he said. “It’s hard to learn this stuff because it’s something you can’t see. The only thing that is going to help is laps in the seat. You need enough laps to experience as many situations you can, with trucks inside and outside; in front and behind. I think I have a pretty good baseline now, so hopefully we’ll get up with the guys in front and be competitive.”

The Chevy Silverado 350 from Texas Motor Speedway will be televised live this Saturday on Speed Channel starting at 2 P.M. Eastern. The race will also be broadcast live on selected radio affiliates of the Motor Racing Network, and can be heard on NASCAR Radio 144 on XM Satellite Radio. will feature live trackside updates during practice and qualifying on Friday and complete pre- and post-race coverage on Saturday at

2004 Team Averages

Starts: 8

Average Start: 21.37

Best Start: 7th, Indianapolis Raceway Park

Average Finish: 17.5

Best Finish: 10th, Daytona International Speedway and Indianapolis Raceway Park

Total Laps Possible: 1375

Laps Completed: 1366

Laps Completed Percentage: 99.34%

Denny Hamlin Totals and Averages

Starts: 3

Average Start: 16.0

Best Start: 7th, Indianapolis Raceway Park

Average Finish: 15.0

Best Finish: 10th, Indianapolis Raceway Park

Total Laps Possible: 755

Laps Completed: 753

Laps Completed Percentage: 99.73%####

See also
Article posted by staff on October 14, 2004.