He’s leading the points, has scored the most Top-5 and Top-10 runs among the competition, has the best average starting and average finish position, and has led the most laps this season, but a victory has evaded Denny Hamlin through the first-fourth of the 2021 Cup Series season.
Eight Top-5 finishes in the opening nine races — including a runner-up finish Sunday in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway — have expanded Hamlin’s point lead to over a full race over teammate Martin Truex Jr.
Hamlin led 202 laps at Richmond and the first two stage wins, but lost the lead to eventual race winner Alex Bowman with 10 laps to go.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Hamlin said to The Racing Experts about his second-place finish in the race.
“You’re upset in the moment. You feel like you should capitalize when you have great cars. But in the big picture, we are running very strong and in contention each week. It’s mixed emotions.”
In his 17-year Cup Series career, Hamlin has won 44 times, good enough for a tie with 1989 series champion Bill Elliott for 18th on the all-time wins list.
Hamlin’s last victory came at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2020, 14 races ago.
Hamlin will look to capture his first victory of 2021 at Talladega Superspeedway, the next scheduled race for the series, on Sunday, April 25.
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.