James Dennis " Denny " Hamlin Jr. ( born November 18, 1980 in Chesterfield, Virginia) is an American NASCAR driver. He drives sponsored by FedEx Toyota Camry with the number 11 in the Sprint Cup for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Hamlin began his racing career in 1988 at the age of seven years with kart racing. 1997, at the age of 16, he moved to touring car racing. In his first race at the Langley Speedway, he secured directly the pole position and then won the race. At the end of the season Hamlin moved to the Grand Stock division and the season of 2000 to the Late Models. In the 2002 season, he won ten races, in the following season, 25 of the 36 races and went in 30 races from pole position at the start.
2004 Hamlin signed a contract for a development program for racers at Joe Gibbs Racing and walked in five races in the Craftsman Truck Series at the start. At the same time he ran his first race in the Busch Series at the Darlington Raceway, where he went from position 27 to eighth place.
In the 2005 season, Hamlin ran the full season in the Busch Series and replaced Mike Bliss in the Rockwell Automation Chevrolet with start number 20, The season he finished fifth in the championship. Hamlin scored a total of eleven top-10 results and won a prize money of 1.06411 million U.S. dollars. Also in 2005, Hamlin ran his first race in the Nextel Cup at the Kansas Speedway in the FedEx Chevrolet with start number 11, after Jason Leffler was released. Overall, he completed seven races in the Cup, of which he drove in three out of the top 10. At Phoenix International Raceway Hamlin took up his first pole position.
In 2006, Hamlin ran his first full season in the Nextel Cup and entered simultaneously in the Busch Series. On March 5, he won the first Busch Series race at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
In Hamlin's first restrictor plate race, he scored a stir when he left in the 70 -lap Budweiser Shootout All Winners of pole positions for the 2005 season behind him. Hamlin is the first rookie to have won this race. In May, he organized with part of his crew during a break to test at the Lowe 's Motor Speedway is a race to the trucks of the team. He injured his left hand between the little finger and wrist and had to be sewn with 19 stitches. Despite this injury Hamlin junior second in the Crown Royal 400 was behind Dale Earnhardt On June 11, he won the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway the first win of his career in the Nextel Cup. On July 23, he won the Pennsylvania 500 also at Pocono Raceway. Hamlin is the second driver Jimmie Johnson, who won both races at a racetrack in a season as a rookie. In addition to the two victories Hamlin stood with two races from pole position as well as the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 He finished the season third in the championship and was also named the rookie of the year in the Nextel Cup. His third place is the best result of a rookie in the history of NASCAR. In addition, Hamlin is the first rookie, who made it into the Chase for the Nextel Cup.
Hamlin started the 2007 season with a 28th place at the Daytona 500 The third win of his career he scored for the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. In his second full season, he made it into the Chase for the Nextel Cup. In the Chase itself, there was only enough for three top-10 results in five races he did not make it into the top 20th At the end of the season he finished in twelfth place in the championship and was thus Last Chase participant.
In the Sprint Cup season 2008, he took the Goody's Cool Orange 500 on his first win of the season and finished the season in eighth position. In the Nationwide Series he won the Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond, the Heluva Good! 200 in Dover, on American Independence Day, the Winn -Dixie 250 at Daytona, and the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas. He finished the season ranked 19th
In the Sprint Cup season 2009, he celebrated his first victory at Pocono Raceway in the Pennsylvania 500 was followed by three more victories at Richmond International Raceway, Martinsville Speedway and in the season finale, the Ford 400 at Homestead -Miami Speedway.