Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

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7. Denny Hamlin

Saturday, February 10, 2018


For most of the first half of the season, Denny Hamlin was completely off fantasy players’ radars, but his second top-five of the year galvanized the team and pointed them in the right direction.

Hamlin was slowed by crash damage in the 59th running of the Great American Race and lost a lap. He finished 17th. The next week, a broken rear end sidelined him at Atlanta Motor Speedway and sent the No. 11 team to the garage 143 laps from the end of the Folds of Honor 500; he finished 38th. Two top-10s in his next five races were offset by a pair of results 25th or worse and it appeared that Hamlin was going to struggle for most of the season.

He was rejuvenated at his home track of Richmond International Raceway in April with a third-place finish, but it was not until he finished fifth in the Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway that players really started to take notice. From that point on, the vast majority of his results were in the top five with less than a handful of finishes outside the top 15. Unfortunately, one of these came in the penultimate race of the season at Phoenix International Raceway and it kept him from entering the finale with a shot at the Championship.

In fact, the entire program improved in the second half of the season with Hamlin advancing to the final round of 12 in qualification trim in all but one of the last 19 races—including his first pole of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the final race.

After waiting nine weeks to get his first top-five, it is remarkable that he scored 15 of them in the final 27 events. And if that did not make him a place-and-hold driver, it is difficult to imagine what would have. Unfortunately, his strong qualification efforts diminished his points somewhat with a negative place-differential in 10 of the last 11 races including two losses 25 or more positions.

One surefire way to get veterans to perk up is to bring a young dog into the mix. This year Joe Gibbs Racing will have both Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones in the stable, and while 37 is not exactly geriatric, it does make him the senior statesman now that Matt Kenseth is gone. There is a lot to be said for experience and Hamlin should be one of this season’s top performers. 

 

Track

3-Yr
Avg.
Fin

Career
Avg.
Fin

Career
Attempts

Career
Top-5s

Career
Top-10s

Race 1

Race 2

Darlington Raceway

2.67

5.83

12

7

10

1

 

Chicagoland Speedway

3.67

15.08

12

3

6

4

 

Richmond International Raceway +

7.17

9.57

23

10

14

3

5

Kentucky Speedway

7.33

16.14

7

3

3

4

 

Sonoma Raceway

8.00

19.42

12

3

4

4

 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

8.67

13.67

12

4

6

17

 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

8.83

10.08

24

9

14

1

12

Charlotte Motor Speedway +

9.17

12.44

25

8

16

5

4

Homestead - Miami Speedway

9.33

10.46

13

4

9

9

 

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

10.00

12.25

12

2

6

6

 

Watkins Glen International

10.67

17.67

12

3

6

4

 

Bristol Motor Speedway *

10.83

15.38

24

7

12

10

3

Daytona International Speedway

11.00

17.42

24

6

7

17

24

Pocono Raceway

11.50

11.79

24

10

15

12

4

Michigan International Speedway

13.00

14.75

24

7

11

4

16

Martinsville Speedway

13.83

10.00

24

12

18

30

7

Phoenix International Raceway

14.33

11.80

25

10

14

10

35

Auto Club Speedway

15.00

18.25

17

2

5

14

 

Talladega SuperSpeedway

16.17

18.29

24

5

9

11

6

Texas Motor Speedway

16.33

12.17

24

6

12

25

3

Dover Downs International

16.33

18.46

24

3

9

8

35

Kansas Speedway

20.50

16.37

19

5

6

23

5

Atlanta Motor Speedway

30.67

19.11

18

3

6

38

 

 

+ Top-five sweeps
* Top-10 sweeps

2018 Top-25 Fantasy Values

8. Keselowski, Brad 
9. Blaney, Ryan 
10. Jones, Erik 
11. Johnson, Jimmie 
12. McMurray, Jamie 
13. Bowyer, Clint 
14. Suarez, Daniel 
15. Newman, Ryan 
16. Busch, Kurt 
17. Almirola, Aric 
18. Dillon, Austin 
19. Stenhouse Jr., Ricky 
20. Menard, Paul 
21. Bayne, Trevor 
22. Dillon, Ty 
23. Buescher, Chris 
24. Allmendinger, AJ
25. Kahne, Kasey 

Rookie Watch

Wallace Jr., Darrell 
Byron, William

Previous Denny Hamlin Profiles

2017 
2016 
2015



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



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