Hamlin signs contract extension with JGR, hopes to retire there
Denny Hamlin has signed a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing, Motorsport.com has learned.
An official announcement is expected at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon. Sources with knowledge of the agreement confirmed the renewal for Hamlin and Fed Ex, though the terms remain undisclosed.
When Motorsport.com asked the driver if it was his intention to retire with the team, Hamlin replied, "That's the plan."
Hamlin, 36, was recruited by JGR in 2004. After auditioning through a full season of NASCAR Xfinity Series competition in 2005 — and a limited seven-race schedule in Cup — Hamlin earned a full-time ride in the No. 11 car for 2006.
Hamlin has qualified for the 10-race Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff in each of his full-time seasons, with the exception of 2013 when he was sidelined for four races with a L1 compression fracture suffered during a wreck at Auto Club Speedway.
Hamlin’s best shot at the series title came in 2010 when he finished second in the standings to Jimmie Johnson. The No. 11 team led the points after the first two races of the post-season — at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway — and regained the lead with wins at Martinsville Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. Hamlin still topped the standings after Phoenix International Raceway but lost the championship to Johnson the following week at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The Chesterfield, Va. native is one of the most successful drivers currently in NASCAR. He has 29 career Cup wins — including last year’s Daytona 500 — 117 top fives, 196 top 10s and 24 poles in 398 starts. Hamlin has also scored 15 wins in the XFINITY Series and two victories in trucks.
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