Camping World Trucks - Hamlin Wins At Martinsville
Martinsville, Oct. 28, 2012: Toyota Tundra driver Denny Hamlin claimed his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) victory in Saturday afternoon's race at Martinsville Speedway.
Hamlin was forced to start from the back of the 36-truck field due to missing the driver's meeting and worked his way to the lead for six laps (of 200) en route to his sixth NASCAR win at the half-mile Virginia speedway. Peters started the race from the pole and led twice for a total of 59 laps.DENNY HAMLIN, No. 51 Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 1st How much do you enjoy racing at Martinsville? "Yeah, I love this place and, man, that's short track racing at its finest. I gave the 88 (Matt Crafton) extra room on the outside. I went to the second lane and didn't want to crowd him into (turn) one and tried to pass him on the outside and he shoved up into me and pushed me into the third groove. I just got back to him, so I didn't wreck him or anything like that -- you're going have contact at Martinsville. I would expect the same thing from anyone else. I tell you've I lost a bunch that way and just proud of this whole effort. Nelson (Piquet) and those guys came a long way on this track and just got to thank everyone from Toyota for putting this deal together -- they didn't really have much of a sponsor for it -- thanks for having me back. Just got to thank everyone who is a part of this program because I don't get to race these races that often, so I've got to take advantage of them when I do."
What did Matt Crafton say to you in victory lane? "He (Matt Crafton) was really excited about finishing fourth. He was excited about it. No, what do you expect? You're the leader with a few laps to go and if you rewind the tape from Cup in 2008 or 2009, I think I was in that same position and Jimmie Johnson pulled that same exact move on me and we got the bad end of that deal. When you're the leader with a few laps to go, you've got to expect it. You're at Martinsville. You can't wreck the guy -- that's off limits, but to move him up and out of the groove, that's standard protocol at this type of race track. For us, I tried to run him clean into (turn) one -- I gave him a little bit of extra room because I saw that he had been sliding up the race track -- driving in too deep and sliding up. He still came up and shot us up in the third lane. When I went into the next corner I just showed my displeasure and got in to the back of him and got him up the race track. I would have done that anyway -- it wouldn't have mattered if it was that lap or one to go. I knew that it was important to get the lead as soon as possible simply because with these restarts the outside line was just not preferred."
Should NASCAR allow you to miss the Truck Series driver's meeting with no penalty? "It would be like our 1,000th drivers meeting. I don't know -- race procedures don't change that much, but I understand where they're at. Things do run a little bit different in the Truck Series, so it's import ant to be there. With the rain that happened and obviously our draw for qualifying, we're going out last -- there was no way that I could give up 15 minutes of Cup practice. It was already shortened anyway because of the rain. It just made no sense. I felt bad for these guys that possibly you cost yourself a win, but I had to do what I had to do to make sure I was in the right position in the Cup series because that's what I'm here for. Obviously, I want to give these guys a good run, but I have to do everything I can to make sure the championship is still an option for us."
Is it important to race today to learn for tomorrow? "I think it will be important -- the setups are nothing alike so you can't take that part of it, but you can take the strategy. You can look at tire wear and say that we pitted at a certain amount of laps or here on the truck we ran this many laps before we pitted. We can see how the cycles went at the end. I think that's something we can learn, but other than that not a whole lot translates. The techniques that I use personally around this race track applies to both series so for me, it's just more laps on the race track and continuing to learn to be better."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 51 Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports (continued) Does it still mean a lot to win in your home state? "Absolutely. It really doesn't matter what series, it's always a big thrill. For me, somewhat of a bigger thrill because these guys (Kyle Busch Motorsports) hadn't gotten in the win column in the Truck Series yet. It was a big deal for me and for them. I know these guys work really hard and Kyle (Busch, team owner) works really hard to get this program where it needs to be. You come in hoping that you can make a difference and I think we did that today."
Why did you run this Truck race when you are in the Chase? "One thing is that I do feel like there is merit to working your technique at this particular race track. At other race tracks where there's higher speeds, you drive the two totally different -- it's not even the same. This -- between the Truck Series and the Cup cars -- is the two most similar two races that we have on any track I feel like. This is the closest to a Cup car in simulation as this can be, so I think thi s is one that I can continue to just stay fresh with how I continue to drive this race track."