TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Denny Hamlin — Notes & Quotes Chicagoland Speedway

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What is your outlook for this weekend? “We didn’t have a ton of speed in our car the first practice, but we didn’t make qualifying run like most guys did. I think in race trim our car is pretty good. I think that we’re headed in the right direction and I think we’re going to race really well on Sunday.”

Do you expect to see racing like what was seen at Richmond where drivers race each other hard in the Chase? “I think (Richmond) was a race where a lot of people had nothing to lose, really. You knew it was win or nothing with most everyone because they knew they had to get the win to get those Chase points, but if they didn’t it made no difference where they were because points were going to reset after that race anyway. I think that racing is what it’s like when you don’t race for points. There was only about five or six guys who were really running for points that race.”

Do you enjoy seeing drivers race each other hard as long as you are not on the receiving end? “Maybe a little bit. I think our sport lacks the physicality part of it for a couple years or so. It’s kind of tamed down. A lot of it is because there is so much sponsor pressure within the sport and so everyone is trying to mind their P’s and Q’s and make sure they stay on the good side of the sponsor. That part of it has been tough to overcome, but I think some of it has been the switch in the car and the tires — the whole thing has made it tougher for us to get around each other. And, now when we do get around each other, especially on restarts, we’re trying like hell to get around each other for a few laps because we know that’s one of the few opportunities that we get. Given Richmond is a lot different than it was in a typical track position race like we’ve seen, that’s been really good. It’s just everyone is trying to get as much as they can on restarts nowadays because we know that after five laps it’s just extremely hard to pass. I’m a fan of it, yes — do I like the retaliation part of it, no.”

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