Charlotte II: Hamlin - Thursday media visit

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Kinko's Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed how practice went, what it's like to fall out of contention for the championship, what it will take to get back in contention,...

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Kinko's Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed how practice went, what it's like to fall out of contention for the championship, what it will take to get back in contention, his expectations for Charlotte, characteristics of the track, how far behind his team is, on his expectations for Martinsville, bumping at Martinsville, progress with the new car, suggestions for the new car, whether or not he looks forward to the final two races with the new car, international drivers coming into the sport, what the most important thing is to winning at Martinsville, which races are wild cards, the importance of late models in his career, his fondest memory driving those cars, late model drivers, racing a Craftsman Truck with Kyle Busch at Martinsville and what he may gain from that for the Cup race.

Selected quotes from driver interview:

IS THE PRESSURE OFF FOR YOU RIGHT NOW? "It is for us. We don't feel the pressure of being a part of the championship battle, at least not right now until maybe some guys falter. Our goal is to get back to the top five and if we can do that then we still have another very successful year. And that's very feasible for us."

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO GET BACK INTO CONTENTION? "It just takes runs like we had last week to get the spark back in the race team. Even though you have tough luck for a couple of months, one good run will spark a team to find something deep down inside them that they didn't have before. The driver needs that every now and then as well. Last week was a big, huge hurdle for us. We've never really ran well at superspeedways and to run as competitive as we did and come away with a good top-five finish, that's what we needed to kind of get our whole end of the season back on track."

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION IN THE STANDINGS RIGHT NOW? "We're a long ways behind. I feel like right now that the tunnel of light is starting to close a little bit on us but we're not even halfway through the Chase yet so it's tough to say. Those guys. we need three guys, really, to have maybe one or two bad weeks for us to get within a reachable distance where we could outrun them. Right now, the way that they're running and the luck that they're having, we're going to have to try to get all we can get and right now that's just top five."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch