NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil
Topics: Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil
November 15, 2009
THE MODERATOR: Jeff, thank you and congratulations.
We're now joined by today's third-place finisher, Denny Hamlin. Denny, tell us about your run today.
DENNY HAMLIN: We had a good day. You know, we threw a lot of different things at the car this morning, figuring that we were going to be a fifth- to 10-place car by the practice sheets. We have a new car here, ran a setup that we never really ran before. We finished where we usually do at this racetrack. I think this is our fourth straight third-place finish. No matter what you throw in the car, I'm the best of the worst or the worst of the best, one of the two.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions for Denny.
Q. Denny, when we left Texas a week ago, some people were saying maybe Jimmie isn't as invincible as we thought. Were there times you thought this isn't racing, this is almost personal on his part to try to reestablish the fact that he's really tough to beat?
DENNY HAMLIN: Yeah, I mean, anytime that Jimmie is down is not usually because of performance, it's usually because of an incident like you had last week. There was no doubt in my mind they were going to come this week and make a statement. Obviously leading all the laps pretty much and winning the race sends a statement out there that he is the best, that they're not going to be denied this year.
The only thing that was going to keep him from winning the championship this year was bad luck. Obviously, they had a big enough gap where they could afford that one bad luck that they had last week.
Q. You just said you finish where you usually finish. Third is a pretty good day. Hendrick keeps walking away with the wins here. What is separating them? What are they getting right here that you're that far off on, do you think?
DENNY HAMLIN: They're really good on corner exit. You know, Jimmie, when I did see him those last 50 laps, for the first time all day, I mean, he just has a tremendous arc into the corner. Of course, I tried to do that as soon as I saw that. My car just would not respond to doing that.
So, I mean, they set up their cars evidently to run that type of line. For whatever reason, turn three, everyone enters that corner the same, but he can just accelerate off the corners much, much better than a lot of guys. That's what makes him so strong on the short tracks and one of the guys you usually have to beat every time, because they're so strong on corner exit.
You know, we turn the center as good as them, but we just don't have the acceleration they do from that point on.
THE MODERATOR: Denny, thank you.
DENNY HAMLIN: Thanks.
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