Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Ground Impala SS met with members of the media to discuss returning to Dover, last week's race, whether it bothers him that international racing stars are coming into NASCAR when short-track drivers are having a harder...
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Ground Impala SS met with members of the media to discuss returning to Dover, last week's race, whether it bothers him that international racing stars are coming into NASCAR when short-track drivers are having a harder time getting in, how important pit stops will be this weekend, on new sponsors for Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and on how the influx of European drivers will affect Busch drivers.
Select quotes from driver interview:
ON LAST WEEK'S RACE "I think a lot of it. I think qualifying is at more of a premium in these race cars than with the other cars. You could see with the other cars, you could have a guy and he could qualify 40th and he could be in the front by a quarter of the way through the race. There was just not much to it. With these cars, you can't really go anywhere. With an exception, maybe one car, two cars, really went from mid-pack to the front. But for us, we ran the same lap times as about the fifth- or sixth-place guy but just. they were half a straightaway in front of me and could just never catch them. We never lost ground to them, we just never made up ground. Really, it's just because we qualified there. We finished right where we qualified pretty much, that's where we ran all day. Our car just wasn't as good as what it was in the spring for sure and I think a lot of that is we were getting away from what we knew worked to try to catch up to what I think the Hendrick cars were doing. And it ju st didn't work for us."
DOES IT BOTHER YOU THAT SHORT-TRACK GUYS ARE HAVING A HARDER TIME GETTING INTO NASCAR NOW THAT A LOT OF INTERNATIONAL RACING STARS ARE COMING INTO THE SPORT? "I think a lot of it. short tracks are tough to learn. I know how big of a transition it was for me to go from the short-track ranks to running a mile-and-a-half to a mile race track. Those were my huge downfalls in my very first year coming to stock cars in the Busch series. I think that's a probably even bigger transition from what those guys are running to what we're running now, especially short tracks. I think that you tend to get in trouble a lot. I don't think in particular (Montoya's) getting as many problems as what he was in the beginning of the year but still, it takes time to learn it. I haven't had too much of a problem. But for the most part, I think a lot of it is how strong is your race team and I think he's performing at the level that that team is capable of right now."
-credit: gm racing