Hamlin eyeing Martinsville win Saturday night

Denny Hamlin is ready to get back on some asphalt. Following the Bristol dirt race a couple of weeks ago in which Hamlin finished third, he’s looking for to returning not only to his home state track at the Martinsville (VA) Speedway, but also getting back to somewhat normal too.

“NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway did a great job with the dirt race, but, yes, I’m ready to get back onto some asphalt,” Hamlin said via a team release this week. “Martinsville is always a place we take confidence to, even when we know we need to keep making improvements to our short track program.”

Hamlin has made 30 career starts on the .526-mile short track. He’s won five of them to go along with four poles, 15 top five finishes and 21 top 10’s. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has led an astounding 1,608 laps there too.

With how well JGR has run at Martinsville in the recent past, there’s no reason to believe that Hamlin can’t take his No. 11 Toyota to victory lane in Saturday night’s Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN).

Hamlin, has a top five finish in all but one race run this year. We’ve also seen seven races run in 2021 and seven different winners. That’s why the hot trend is for Hamlin to get his sixth grandfather clock under the lights this weekend.

“Absolutely,” Hamlin said on if he can get his first win of the season this weekend. “We’re obviously on a strong run with all the top-fives we have, so we’re doing a lot of things right. It’s just a matter of time before we get ourselves up front at the checkers.”

Hamlin said in the meantime, their plan is to just keep working on collecting stage points and growing their lead any way that they can.

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