Denny Hamlin Outlasts Jimmie Johnson to Win at Texas Motor Speedway

Sunday’s Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was rained out.  So they raced it today in front of a very impressive crowd.  Do these people/fans work?  I’m sure there were plenty of scratchy voices calling in sick today.  Their day off produced a very entertaining race and a huge wreck that took out many of the top contenders with 18 laps to go.  Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson went into turn 4 running 3-wide when Stewart’s car got loose and rubbed Jeff Gordon’s rear panel.  This set off the fireworks that would end up being a 9 car wreck that would result in a red flag. Denny Hamlin was the beneficiary of the misfortune and wound up with the lead.  Once the race resumed the lead cars jossled for position, but no one could really make a move because the cars had become loose and couldn’t run the fast line.  Jimmie Johnson, who had a run in with teammate Jeff Gordon earlier in the race, managed to make things interesting with about 5 laps to go by moving into 2nd position.  Johnson’s 48 car was definitely the fastest on the track at the end of the race as he gobbled up time on the leader, Denny Hamlin.  Johnson ran out of race track though and finished second to Denny Hamlin who has won 2 of the last 3 Sprint Cup events.  This marks the 16th different first time winner out of 19 races at Texas Motor Speedway.

Interesting note:  Denny Hamlin tore his ACL a few weeks back and is only 19 days removed from surgery.  He is a two foot driver….meaning he uses his left foot for the brake and the right for the gas.  In order to get back in the car this close to his surgery, Hamlin had to become a one foot driver…..using his right foot for both the brake and gas.  When Denny pulled in to victory lane it was apparent he was still in immense pain when he exited his #11 Fed Ex car.  He limped over to his crew and told reporters that it would take a few minutes for the stiffness in his knee to loosen up after being in the car for 5 hours.  Quite the story.  Most people would have taken a few weeks off, but this guy is a warrior and felt that if he didn’t race he would be letting his team down.  Congrats Denny!  You deserved the checkered flag.

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