Hamlin set to make 600th career Cup Series start in Sunday’s Verizon 200 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, IMS Radio Network) at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS — There’s no doubt about it, Denny Hamlin is a future first ballot NASCAR Hall of Famer. This weekend’s Verizon 200 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, IMS Radio Network) will be Hamlin’s 600th career NASCAR Cup Series start. To do so at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway whether it’s on the road course of oval is special. He’ll become just the 33rd different driver to make 600 or more starts in the series.

Hamlin will also become the sixth active driver to make 600 or more starts in the NASCAR Cup Series; joining Kurt Busch (776 starts), Kevin Harvick (775), Kyle Busch (627) and Martin Truex Jr. (606).

Hamlin made his first NASCAR Cup Series start in 2005 at Kansas Speedway. In 599 starts, Hamlin has collected 36 poles, 48 wins (most by a driver without a title), 201 top fives and 310 top 10s.

He just won the Coca-Cola 600 back on May 29. He’s won the Southern 500 4 times. He’s won the Daytona 500 three times. He won the 2015 All-Star race and has make a Championship 4 appearance 4 times including 3 straight years.

Since the start of the 2020 season, 24 different drivers have won at least one NASCAR Cup Series race, but three drivers, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Hamlin, are tied for the series-most wins with 11 victories each – totaling 33 of the 93 races run (35.4%).

Chase ElliottDenny HamlinKyle Larson
Daytona RC2020Daytona2020Las Vegas2021
Charlotte RC2020Homestead2020Sonoma2021
Phoenix2020Kansas2020Watkins Glen2021
Road America2021Talladega2020Charlotte RC2021
Nashville2022Las Vegas2021Kansas2021
Pocono2022Charlotte2022Auto Club2022

One thing that’s missing is an Indy win.

It almost happened last year but Chase Briscoe took matters into his own hands in the closing laps. Now, Hamlin returns for revenge, especially with having his Pocono win last Sunday taken away because of a piece of tape. He became the first Cup driver since 1960 to get a win taken away.

He’ll start 15th on Sunday.

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