NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin has not had the start to 2014 that he most likely wished for. Hamlin currently sits 14th in the point standings. In eight races this season (he missed one start because of an eye issue) he has a pair of top-10 finishes with no victories or finishes inside of the top-five. His slow start aside, Hamlin will hit a career milestone when he takes the green flag Sunday at Talladega.
Hamlin’s start at Talladega will be his 300th career Sprint Cup race.
In his previous 299 Sprint Cup races, Hamlin has 23 wins. Those 23 wins place him 30th on the all time NASCAR wins list. Hamlin currently sits two wins behind Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Jim Paschal and Joe Weatherly who each have 25 career NASCAR Sprint Cup wins. Carl Edwards, Terry Labonte, Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte all are sitting right behind Hamlin on that list with 21 victories each.
Aside from his 23 wins; in 299 career starts Hamlin has 85 top-five finishes and 138 top-10 finishes. He also has 18 pole awards to his credit. Hamlin’s top-10 numbers are impressive, in his career he has finished in the top-10 46 percent of the time. Unfortunately for Hamlin he has never had a great deal of success at Talladega Superspeedway. In 16 career starts at Talladega Hamlin has only finished in the top-10 four times, he has finished outside of the top-10 six different times. Hamlin’s average finish at Talladega is 18th.
Although he may not have had tons of Talladega success in the past that doesn’t mean that he can’t win in his 300th start on Sunday. Afterall, Talladega is known for producing strange finishes and unlikely winners. Given how 2014 has begun I think Hamlin would gladly take a top-10 finish this weekend if he isn’t able to make it to Victory Lane.