NASCAR: Denny Hamlin ties all-time unwanted record

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Pocono Raceway, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Pocono Raceway, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Denny Hamlin is officially the winningest NASCAR Cup Series driver in Pocono Raceway history, but now nobody has won more total races than he has without winning a championship.

One year after he thought he had won at Pocono Raceway for a record-breaking seventh time in his NASCAR Cup Series career, only to be disqualified after the race, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin officially secured his seventh win at the Tricky Triangle in Sunday afternoon’s 400.

The win was Hamlin’s second of the 2023 season and the 50th of his career, moving him into a tie for 13th place on the all-time wins list with Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson.

With his latest victory at the three-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Long Pond, Pennsylvania oval, Hamlin has also tied an unwanted record.

No driver has won more races than Denny Hamlin without winning a NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Before Hamlin’s victory on Sunday, Johnson was in sole possession of first place on the all-time wins list among drivers without a championship, as every driver with more than 50 career victories has won at least one championship.

In Johnson’s case, he never actually competed full-time, however. In fact, in only seven of his 14 seasons in the series did he run more than half of the races on the schedule. His best finishes in the standings were sixth place efforts.

Among drivers who have competed full-time in the Cup Series, Hamlin has been the winningest non-champion since 2020 when he passed Mark Martin. Martin finished his career with 40 victories.

Of course, Hamlin will be the first one to tell you that, based on the current playoff format, he believes that championships are viewed differently now.

He would rather win a ton of races and no title than win a championship with fewer race wins. So he certainly won’t mind continuing to move up the all-time wins list, even if he never wins that elusive first title.

FanDuel Sportsbook, which is offering fans an instant $100 for betting $5, lists Hamlin as the fifth favorite to win this year’s championship at +850.

Odds and availability are always subject to change. Lock in your $100 today before it’s too late!

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

Can Hamlin officially become the winningest non-champion in Cup Series history this Sunday, July 30 at Richmond Raceway, a track where he owns four victories? The Cook Out 400 is set to be broadcast live on USA Network beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss it!