By: Brian Smith
For all the success that Denny Hamlin has had so far this week at Dover International Speedway, he still has one more day’s worth of work to do. But it could be said that he’s done everything he can do to this point to get the Monster off his back.
Hamlin ran fastest in both practices on Saturday, including the afternoon Happy Hour in preparation for Sunday’s “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. His afternoon top speed was 156.807 MPH, making him the only driver to eclipse 156 MPH in that last session.
Whatever Hamlin is doing is apparently contagious, because the Joe Gibbs Racing cars took four of the top five spots in Happy Hour. Carl Edwards ran second at 155.602 MPH, followed by Paul Menard in third. Then came the next two JGR cars – Matt Kenseth in fourth and Kyle Busch in fifth.
Jimmie Johnson, who’s looking for his 10th Dover win, was sixth fastest. He was followed by Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch in the top 10.