|Occupation:||Race Car Driver|
|Birth Day:||November 18, 1980|
|Birth Place:||Tampa, United States|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He began racing go-karts at age 7, and by his mid-20s, he graduated to Late Models.
Hamlin began his racing career in 1988, at the age of 7 years old, racing go-karts. By 1997 at 15, he won the WKA manufacturers cup. At the age of 16, he was racing mini stocks. In his first stock car race, at Langley Speedway, Hamlin won the pole position, and won the race. He then progressed to the Grand Stock division in 1998, and moved on to Late Model Stock Cars in 2000. In 2002, he won ten Late Model races, and surpassed that in 2003 with 25 wins, and 30 poles, out of 36 races. In 2004, while competing full-time in Late Model Stock Cars, Hamlin was signed to a driver development contract with Joe Gibbs Racing.
In 2004, Hamlin competed in five NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races with EJP Racing, and had a tenth-place finish in his NASCAR debut at Indianapolis Raceway Park. He later ran his first career ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, finishing third in the No. 10 Pontiac owned by Andy Hillenburg. His final start of the year came at Darlington Raceway, when he made his Busch Series debut. He started twenty-seventh (rain-out) but finished eighth in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Driven Performance Oil Chevrolet.
Hamlin ran the full season in 2005 after he replaced Mike Bliss in the No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet in the Busch Series. He ended up finishing 5th in the final championship points standings as a rookie in that series, with 11 top 10s and earnings of $1,064,110. Hamlin also ran his first NASCAR Cup Series races in 2005, making his Cup debut at Kansas Speedway as driver of the No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet for the 2006 season, after Jason Leffler was released, and made seven starts in the Cup series in 2005. He finished the Cup season with three top 10 finishes in those seven starts and one pole at Phoenix International Raceway. His performance in 2005 was impressive, a stark contrast to Leffler's embarrassingly poor performance during his tenure in the same car earlier in the season.
He wrecked at Pocono on Lap 15 after losing control of his car in the third turn and solidified his chances of missing the Chase for the first time in his career (He ran 7 races in 2005 but his first appearance was at a Chase race). At Michigan, he was officially eliminated from the Chase even if he won the next four races because he was too far back in the points.
In 2006, Hamlin ran his first full season in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, and during the year he drove in both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series full-time. In Hamlin's first restrictor plate race as a Nextel Cup driver, he beat all the previous year's (2005 season) pole winners in the 70-lap 2006 Budweiser Shootout. Hamlin became the first Rookie of the Year candidate to take home the Shootout victory. Hamlin achieved his first career Busch Series victory at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (March 5). On June 11, 2006, Hamlin scored his first career Cup Series win at the Pocono 500, where he also won his second career pole. He achieved his second career win on July 23, 2006 in the Pennsylvania 500 also at Pocono Raceway becoming only the 2nd rookie in Nextel Cup history to sweep both races at a track during the same season (Jimmie Johnson did so at Dover International Speedway in his rookie season in 2002), both from the pole position. In the Cup Series, Hamlin won the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award and finished third in the final Cup standings, scoring the highest points finish for a rookie in the modern era of NASCAR, and the highest since James Hylton in 1966. Hamlin thus became the first ever rookie to make the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup, which he finished third in points.
In 2008, Hamlin had a near identical season as before, but moved up to eighth in points, and won early in the season at Martinsville Speedway. He led 381 out of 410 laps in the 2008 Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400, the most dominant effort of a driver since 2000, but cut a tire and finished 24th. He won four races in the Nationwide Series, driving both the No. 18 and No. 20 entries for Gibbs, as well as the No. 32 Dollar General/Hass avocados car for Braun Racing.
He continued driving the No. 11 car in Sprint Cup in 2009, as well as sharing the No. 20 car for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series. Hamlin won his fifth Cup career race at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2009. Hamlin boldly stated at the final restart "I'm going to win this race." He followed through on the statement, moving from sixth to first and snapping a 50 race win-less streak. The win was Hamlin's third at Pocono. It was especially emotional for the No. 11 team as Hamlin had lost his grandmother, Thelma Clark, that Friday.
Hamlin once again dominated the race at Richmond International Raceway and finally won at his home track. On October 25, 2009, Hamlin held off Jimmie Johnson to win the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. He went on to win the Ford 400 at the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, capping off his 2009 season 5th in the overall standings with 4 wins, 15 top 5s and 20 top 10s. Hamlin took the lead after starting the race in 38th position and he led a total of 70 laps to capture his 4th win of the 2009 season.
Hamlin entered the 2010 season with great expectations. Many believed he would be a favorite to unseat Jimmie Johnson as Sprint Cup Champion. On January 22, 2010, Hamlin tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing basketball. The decision was made to postpone his surgery until after the season. Hamlin announced on March 27, 2010, to have surgery on his left knee the following Monday. The decision was made to prevent further damage to his knee.
On March 29, 2010, Hamlin won the rain-postponed race at Martinsville Speedway in wild fashion. He beat his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Joey Logano, and Jeff Gordon to the finish line. Two days later, Hamlin had knee surgery to repair the torn ligament in his left knee.
On April 19, 2010, three weeks after his surgery, Hamlin worked his way from a 28th starting spot to restart 2nd with 13 laps to go at Texas Motor Speedway. Hamlin was later able to pass Jeff Burton on the outside and hold off Jimmie Johnson to get his 10th career win and his second win in three races.
Less than three weeks later on May 8, Hamlin visited victory lane for the third time in 2010 at Darlington Raceway. He swept the weekend by winning both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series events. He became the first driver to do so at Darlington since Mark Martin in 1993. He won the Nationwide Series Royal Purple 200 presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts driving the No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing on Friday night. He started on the pole and led the most laps to win the race.
Later in the 2010 season, Hamlin finished 43rd in the Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This dropped him five spots in the Chase standings, placing him in 10th overall. Despite the drop in the standings, the top 10 drivers in the Chase were locked in after Atlanta, guaranteeing Hamlin a spot in the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup. A driver error in the first Chase race on part of Carl Edwards caused Hamlin to spin with 85 to go. With cars ahead running out of fuel, Hamlin barely lost to Clint Bowyer.
After his 3rd-place finish at Kansas, he would climb to 11th in points – 1 point out of the coveted 10th as the series goes to his favorite track, Pocono, where he would have tied himself for the most all-time wins at the track, if he had placed first. After a disappointing 19th-place finish, he moved on to Michigan, a track at which he posted a 1st and 2nd-place finish in 2010. Before the first practice at Michigan, oil pans unapproved by NASCAR were confiscated from the three JGR teams, including Hamlin.
In 2011 Hamlin almost won the Budweiser Shootout, but the victory was taken away from him by Kurt Busch because at the last second, Hamlin crossed the yellow line, on turn four to the finish line, in his attempt to pass Ryan Newman.
Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Darian Grubb will be Mike Ford's replacement as Hamlin's crew chief for the 2012 season. Grubb previously served as crew chief for Tony Stewart, where he helped Stewart to his third Sprint Cup title in 2011.
After showing signs of sheer mediocrity during each practice and qualifying, Hamlin qualified 10th in the field. He showed signs of improvement at the very start of the race, Hamlin quickly slid back in the field and was in the 10th to 15th place range until beginning to improve with about 70 laps to go, deeming the adjustment on his loose race car "a magic adjustment" On lap 158, with 42 laps to go, a penalty caused by an accident between Juan Pablo Montoya and Andy Lally allowed Hamlin to move to the front of the field by short pitting. Another caution on lap 192 moved the 11 car up to the first position. After a restart, Hamlin surged to ahead of the group, with Matt Kenseth right behind him in the closing three laps. After desperately trying to move past Hamlin, Kenseth made a final attempt coming out of turn four on the final lap, causing him to almost hit the wall because of a loose racecar. This win vaulted Hamlin from 12th in the standings, where he would have been replaced in the chase by Jeff Gordon if each stayed in their current position, to 9th, where he is guaranteed a spot in the chase. At the end of the season Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Mike Ford would not return as Hamlin's crew chief in 2012.
Hamlin scored his first win of the year in the second event on the schedule, at Phoenix International Raceway. On April 22, 2012, Hamlin out-dueled Martin Truex Jr. to score his second win in the eighth race of the year, at Kansas Speedway. At the Crown Royal Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard, Hamlin scored his eleventh pole. He won his third race of the year at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 26 in the Irwin Tools Night Race. A week later, he became the first driver of the year to have back-to-back wins, winning the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, again out-dueling Truex. Two weeks later, he dominated and won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after starting 32nd, deep in the field. This was Joe Gibbs Racing's 100th win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
Hamlin and Jordan Fish have two daughters together. Taylor James Hamlin was born on January 20, 2013. Just before the start of the 2017 season at the Daytona 500, it was announced that the couple were expecting their second child. Molly Gold Hamlin was born on August 15, 2017.
Hamlin's spot in the 2014 Chase was sealed up after the 2014 Michigan race with his Talladega win. At Bristol, Hamlin appeared to have a perfect car to win but after leading many laps Hamlin wrecked after contact from Kevin Harvick while racing for the lead. Hamlin replied by angrily throwing his HANS device at Harvick's car during a caution period. Some fans wondered if NASCAR should have penalized Hamlin for exiting his car before the safety workers came out (a rule made by NASCAR in the wake of the big tragedy in which Tony Stewart's car ran over and killed Sprint-Car driver Kevin Ward Jr.) but NASCAR did not penalize Hamlin, stating that safety workers first had told Hamlin to get out of the car by radio and then gave Hamlin permission to toss his HANS device at Harvick's car. Harvick later apologized for causing the crash via Twitter while Hamlin said his acceptance of Harvick's apology would only depend on how clean Harvick would compete with him in the future. Despite he and his team's shortcomings throughout the regular season, Hamlin managed to put together a consistent Chase. His results earned him a spot within the final four title contenders heading to the final round, and he was leading the race and the title with twenty laps to go, but a caution came out and Darian Grubb, his crew chief, decided to opt out of stopping for fresh tires and fuel, which would turn out to be a costly decision. He finished 7th in the race, and 3rd in the championship.
Hamlin earned a respectable 8th-place finish at a wreck-filled Dover despite getting busted for an uncontrolled tire in Stage 1, and subsequently ran well at Pocono, finishing 12th after falling back late. At Michigan, Hamlin finished 4th after a tense battle with Kyle Larson on the final restart. He then returned to the road course at Sonoma, the scene of his duel with Tony Stewart in 2016 where he was passed on the last corner of the last lap. He led 12 laps during Stage 2 and remained in the top 2 throughout most of the race but he lost grip in his tires towards the end, losing 2nd to Clint Bowyer with 6 laps to go and then 3rd to Brad Keselowski on the final lap, just before the caution waved to end the race after Kasey Kahne crashed on the front straight. He finished 4th, adding to his 5th and 4th places in the two stages earlier in the race.
In 2016, Hamlin was a Fox NASCAR guest analyst for the Xfinity Series race at Talladega. A year later, he returned to Fox for the Cup drivers-only broadcast of the Xfinity race at Pocono, working in the Hollywood Hotel studio alongside Danica Patrick.
Hamlin, along with his Toyota teammates, recorded video clips on how to drive a lap at all of the NASCAR tracks on the 2016 circuit in the video game NASCAR Heat Evolution. He is also featured as one of eight playable drivers on the EA Sports NASCAR Racing arcade game, the only rookie to be featured in the game.
Hamlin started the 2018 season with a third-place finish at the 2018 Daytona 500. Despite being winless throughout the regular season, he made the playoffs by staying consistent with seven top-fives and 14 top-10s. Hamlin was eliminated in the Round of 16 after finishing out of the top-10 at Las Vegas, Richmond, and the Charlotte Roval. He wound up 11th in the final point standings, his first time outside the top ten since the year he missed four races due to injury (2013) and winless for the first time in his career, snapping a 12-season streak of winning at least one race dating back to his first full-time rookie year (2006) when he swept both Pocono races to when he won the July New Hampshire race along with his second Southern 500 (2017). Hamlin's long time rival, Jimmie Johnson, also did not secure a win in the 2018 season.
Hamlin won his third Daytona 500 in 2020 when he beat Ryan Blaney to the finish in overtime by 0.014 seconds, the second-closest finish in the race's history behind Hamlin's 2016 win. The victory was overshadowed by Ryan Newman's wreck coming to the finish that resulted in hospitalization, sparking controversy over Hamlin's post-race burnouts while Newman's health was unknown; Hamlin and Joe Gibbs apologized for the celebrations, the former explaining he had not learned of Newman's status until he was in Victory Lane.
On September 21, 2020, Hamlin and NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan announced they would be fielding a single-car team for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, named 23XI Racing with Bubba Wallace driving the No. 23.
Currently, Denny Hamlin is 42 years, 2 months and 9 days old. Denny Hamlin will celebrate 43rd birthday on a Saturday 18th of November 2023.
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