Hamlin Stays Ahead Of The Pack For Most Laps In Martinsville Win Impressive On-Track Performance Clinches "WIX Filters Lap Leader Of The Race" Honors CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 31, 2010) -- A day-long rain delay and an ailing knee couldn't stop ...
Hamlin Stays Ahead Of The Pack For Most Laps In Martinsville Win
Impressive On-Track Performance Clinches "WIX Filters Lap Leader Of The Race" Honors
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 31, 2010) -- A day-long rain delay and an ailing knee couldn't stop Denny Hamlin from putting the pedal to the metal during Monday's running of the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The Virginia native's late-race rally from ninth to first in the final 12 laps earned him his first win of the 2010 season and a host of accompanying honors.
Hamlin, who led six times for a total of 172 laps, clinched the "WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race" Award. The award is part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provide teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.
Each race, the "WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race" Award recognizes the eligible NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver who leads the most laps during the event.WIX Filters, an official NASCAR Performance product, has been involved in NASCAR for more than 40 years. WIX Filters are under the hoods of more than 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup cars and have helped power the engines of nine of the past 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup champions.
Hamlin has nine top 10s in 10 starts at Martinsville and has now led the most laps (674 of 1,509 laps) in each of the last three consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup races at the historic half-mile oval. His average finish in the last three races at Martinsville is 1.33.
For Hamlin and crew chief Mike Ford, the spring race at Martinsville has proven to be a springboard of sorts.
"Yeah, usually this is where we start turning it up," said Hamlin, after scoring his third victory at Martinsville in the past five races. "I don't see that bar that's going up going down anytime soon. I think it's still going to keep getting better. For whatever reason, it just takes a little while for me and Mike to get back in rhythm and figure out what we need on each race day. Think it's starting to come through again."
In addition to the "WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race" Award, Hamlin and the No. 11 team also picked up the Goodyear Gatorback Belts Fastest Lap, MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race, and Sunoco Diamond Performance awards.
The Martinsville win marked Joe Gibbs Racing's 78th NASCAR Sprint Cup victory and Hamlin's ninth in 157 career starts. Heading into Phoenix next weekend, Hamlin sits 15th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, only 24 points behind 12th-place Brian Vickers.
Official winners of this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:
Coors Light Pole Award: Not Awarded (Weather)
DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race AWARD: Greg Erwin (crew chief for Greg Biffle)
Goodyear Gatorback BELTS Fastest Lap AWARD: Denny Hamlin (94.680mph, Lap 376)
Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race AWARD: Denny Hamlin
Mobil 1 "Command Performance Driver of the Race" AWARD: Martin Truex Jr.
Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Race AWARD: Tony Gibson (crew chief for Ryan Newman)
O'Reilly Auto Parts Position Improvement Award: Ryan Newman (22 places)
Raybestos Rookie of the Race AWARD: Kevin Conway
Sunoco Diamond Performance AWARD: Denny Hamlin
Tissot "Pit Road Precision" AWARD: Clint Bowyer (329.414 secs.)
WIX FILTERS LAP LEADER AWARD: Denny Hamlin (172 Laps)