Race Weekend Central

Denny Hamlin Comes Up Just Short (Again) in Championship 4 Bid

The Championship 4 is set once again in the NASCAR Cup Series, and for the second straight season, it won’t include Denny Hamlin. After a great regular season and a strong start to his 2023 playoff run, Hamlin came up just eight points short of William Byron, who grabbed the last spot.

It’s not like he wasn’t a factor in the race, though. Hamlin was dominant, as per usual, during the opening stages of the race. Hamlin led the most laps in Sunday’s (Oct. 29) Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway at 156. He also finished runner-up to winner Ryan Blaney, whom he had multiple epic battles with over several consecutive restarts. It just wasn’t enough for the three-time Daytona 500 winner to leapfrog Byron at the end.

See also
Ryan Blaney Collects Walk-Off Win at Martinsville

A somber, but positive Hamlin met with media members and expressed that how he felt his team did their absolute best to make it work.

“Ultimately, our fate was sealed when our steering belt came off last week,” Hamlin said. “On a day when we needed to have a phenomenal day, we did. It just wasn’t quite good enough because we were in such a hole from last week.

He later took to social media to express his gratitude to his fan base this past season.

Hamlin’s crew chief, Chris Gabehart, echoed his driver’s outlook as he stopped and chatted with Frontstretch following the race.

“Today was a great day. We scored 53 points today, won one stage, finished second in the other…clearly the two best cars were the 12 and the 11, and the 12 was just a little bit better. We had everyone else covered and came up one spot short.”

As Hamlin and the team sort through another the events of another unfortunate Round of 8 heartbreak (sans a ‘Hail Melon’), one has to wonder what’s next for the No. 11 team as they look ahead to 2024.

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Hamlin’s 2024 plans include: Lather, Rinse, Repeat, Choke.

Bill B

Haw Haw.
My championship race turned out to be today. #ABH.


Mine too lolol #ABH says it all imo I loved listening to Denny whine in his whole interview. I got the final 4 I wanted. Bet the reverend was cussing up a storm.

Carl D.

Every time they showed Hamlin above the cut line, I let an f-bomb fly. Couldn’t help it. My wife threatened to change the channel. She’s a Larson fan, so she had nothing to lose.

Last edited 1 month ago by Carl D.

elliott and blaney will win championships again before hamlin

Last edited 1 month ago by goblue

dick trickle will win a championship before hamlin


He still has more talent than Humblin!

Bobby DK

Hack! Hack! Hack! Hack! Sorry. Got caught up in all my laughter!

Bill B

We each got one down vote. I guess his mom visits this site.

JD in NC

When I read his tweet where Denny said “Thank you 11 fans” for a split second I thought he was acknowledging that was how many fans he actually had, then I remembered, oh right that’s the car number.

Last edited 1 month ago by JD in NC

maybe he was thanking the “fans” in the cooling system in the car. yeah i know kind of lame, but it’s early.


I don’t care who wins the championship, I’m sooo happy 😁 I’ll cheer for all 4.


needless i was happy to see what happened with the 11. seeing him finish outside the top 4 made me smile, kind of like when ty gibbs seems to be in a vehicle flambeau contest with ricky steinhaus.

Carl D.

This year was Hamlin’s best chance at winning a championship, and it didn’t happen. I don’t think he will ever win one now. Gibbs and Bell are the future at JGR.


Hope you’re right!


Hamlin NOT making the final 4 was the best part of yesterday’s race!


Straight from the horse’s mouth:

“I love banter. I love talking shit,I do,” Hamlin acknowledged. “And now I’m just running well enough where I can back it up. I’m feeding off of it because I’m proving so many people wrong. All I want to do at this point, is if you root against me, I just want to make this next seven weeks a living hell for you. I do. I want to live in the misery of you watching us run well.”


Carl D.

Well, our misery is over and his continues. He can suck on that.

Bill B

Well, he was close, he made our lives hell for 6 weeks.. LOL Which will make the 7th week even sweeter. This will be the first week since the playoffs started where I can just sit back, watch a lame race, listen to the constant inane playoff banter from the booth, and relax because I don’t care who wins the crapshoot championship as long as it wasn’t him. My only agenda for the final race is to hope one of the non-contenders wins it, hell it could even be Douchey boy for all I care. That would be the ultimate irony.
My prediction for the championship…. which ever driver gets off pit road first on the final stop, of course.

Ed Rooney

Nobody likes Denny.

Kevin in SoCal

Y’all drinking the Haterade is just funny. :)

Bill B

Just wondering… are there any drivers you can’t stand and root against?

Kevin in SoCal

Sterling Marlin back in the day, and Ryan Newman now.
Also Dale Jr because its hilarious how crazy his fans are.
I’m not a Hamlin fan, I just enjoy his crazy haters for the same reasons.

Bill B

Alright, just wanted to make sure you are human and not AI. LOL


The NA$CAR brain trust is relying on AI to make their decisions.

Kevin in SoCal

Well that’s a response I never thought I’d get.

Bill B

LOL that was my way of saying that if there weren’t any drivers that you didn’t like, then you couldn’t possibly be human.


Saw on Bob Pockrass’s Twitter/X acct – he had his interview with Diva posted and guess what – he was whining – no surprise. Reading the responses on the post was funny.

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