Saturday, September 27, 2014

Denny Hamlin says Dover is 'most important race of career'

DOVER, Del. — Denny Hamlin views the Sprint Cup race Sunday afternoon as the most important race in his nine-year career of racing at NASCAR’s highest level.

That sounds like an exaggeration. Hamlin, after all, led the standings going into the final race in 2010 only to have Jimmie Johnson beat him for the title.

MORE: Dover lineup breakdown | Harvick win pole | Stewart may not race sprint cars again | Alexis DeJoria winning in NHRA

But considering he sits 13th in the standings, six points from the cutoff to advance to the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, he sees another shot at a championship all on the line in the elimination race Sunday at Dover International Speedway.

“The biggest thing is (2010) is over with,” Hamlin said Friday at Dover. “Looking now, this is the most important race of my career because it’s in the present. If we’re going to live to race another day, we’ve got to get past this weekend with a shot to win the title. If not, you become somewhat irrelevant.”

Of the 16 Chase drivers, 12 advance to the next round — a win automatically advances a driver with the rest of the spots based on points. It appears seven of the Chase drivers are pretty much set to advance but the last nine drivers have just 12 points separating them.

“This will be the hardest race that I'll definitely ever drive for 400 miles,” Hamlin said. “I'm just going to be as aggressive as I can, not put myself in a bad position. But this is the most important race of my career because it's the most significant of my career at this point.

“We’ve got to get the job done and I'm going to do my part to try to make sure we're successful."

Read More Here.....Sporting News

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