Denny Hamlin had hoped to make an early comeback at the Richmond International Raceway this weekend but doctors have not cleared him to race. Instead, the Richmond-area native will be on top of the pit box watching Brian Vickers drive his Toyota. An
Local favorite Hamlin will be on hand throughout the weekend, starting with Thursday night’s Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, a late model event that raises money for cystic fibrosis. (Tony Stewart is the defending champion.)
Hamlin knew his comeback goal was a long shot but with his track record at Richmond and the race weekend being sponsored by Toyota, he wanted to be a direct participant.
In 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond, Hamlin has gone to victory lane twice and amassed nine top-10s, leading some 1,390 laps. Racing in a baker’s dozen Nationwide Series races, he’s won twice and finished in the top-10 on nine occasions.
Without racing this weekend, Hamlin has his eyes focused on the upcoming races at the Talladega Superspeedway and the Darlington Raceway.
All is not lost for the popular driver, as he will have an opportunity to spend more time with his three-month old daughter, Taylor.