BUSCH: Kansas: Denny Hamlin preview

Denny Hamlin, Slim Jim Monster Stick Head to Kansas City for Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Race HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 26, 2007) -- Fresh off a win in last weekend's NASCAR Busch Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Denny...

Denny Hamlin, Slim Jim Monster Stick Head to Kansas City for Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Race

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 26, 2007) -- Fresh off a win in last weekend's NASCAR Busch Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Denny Hamlin is looking for a repeat performance in Saturday's Yellow Transportation 300 Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway.

The 26-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver is set to make his 18th Busch Series start of the season in the No. 20 Slim Jim Monster Stick Chevrolet at Kansas. Hamlin will be carrying the red and yellow colors of long-time JGR sponsor ConAgra Foods and its Slim Jim Monster Stick brand for the very first time.

After winning at the Monster Mile in Dover, Hamlin wants to put the Slim Jim Monster Stick Chevrolet in victory lane at Kansas. If recent history is any indication, Hamlin should at least get a head start on that desired trip to victory lane.

At Chicagoland Speedway in July -- the sister track to Kansas -- Hamlin won the pole for the Busch Series race and went on to lead twice for 22 laps before finishing seventh. The 1.5-mile oval at Kansas is nearly identical to Chicagoland, with the lone exception being Kansas' straight backstretch compared to Chicagoland's slightly bowed backstretch.

Be it in a straight line or in a corner, Hamlin has proven to be fast. The Chesterfield, Va.-native has a total of 11 poles and five wins in 88 career Busch Series starts, the bulk of which have come this season. Hamlin has three wins, five poles, nine top-fives and 13 top-10s while racking up 470 laps led in his 17 starts prior to Kansas.

Coming into Kansas, Hamlin has four straight top-10 results and has finished no worse than seventh in seven of his last eight Busch Series races. Wins at Michigan and Dover are among that group, and Hamlin wants to add Kansas to that list.

Receiving encouragement from Slim Jim, Hamlin expects to "snap into" Kansas' victory lane with the Slim Jim Monster Stick Chevrolet.

Practice for Saturday's Yellow Transportation 300 takes place on Friday. Qualifying set for 11 a.m. EDT on Saturday with live coverage by SPEED-TV. Race time is 3:30 p.m. with ESPN2's live coverage beginning at 3 p.m.

Denny Hamlin -- driver of the No. 20 Slim Jim Monster Stick Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Kansas:

What do you like about racing at Kansas Speedway?

"Kansas is a great place to race. It's a track where the groove tends to move during the race to where you can usually find a place to make your car work. You'll have some guys that are able to run that high line while others are more comfortable on the lower line, and that usually leads to some good side-by-side racing. This is a track that all of the drivers like coming to because you can move around, and that puts a lot of the responsibility for making the car better with the driver."

What is the key to success at a track such as Kansas?

"As always on these intermediate-type tracks, track position will be really important, and that means the entire team, driver included, will have to perform on pit road. There is no room for error because each position is so important. Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and the guys on the No. 20 crew have been building some really strong cars this season, so I feel like we have a good chance of winning every time out, on any type of track. We've shown a big improvement on these intermediates, so I fully expect we'll be in contention this weekend."

You've been able to run consistently at or near the front in almost all of your Busch Series races this year. How have you been able to maintain that consistency?

"I've got some great equipment from Job Gibbs Racing. They are putting great stuff under me every week. I've got everything I need and it's showing every week. I am confident as a driver knowing that there's 400-plus employees at Job Gibbs Racing that's giving their absolute best to me."

-credit: jgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Denny Hamlin
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing