Denny Hamlin Reveals NASCAR's Strategy for Maximizing On-Screen Car Presence

Denny Hamlin finds it fascinating how certain decisions made by NASCAR's decision-makers might not always align with what fans watch during broadcasts

by Sead Dedovic
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Denny Hamlin Reveals NASCAR's Strategy for Maximizing On-Screen Car Presence
© Sean Gardner/Getty Images Sport

Denny Hamlin often addresses through his Actions Detrimental podcast the doubts of NASCAR fans regarding specific issues. This experienced NASCAR driver has reflected on why NASCAR broadcasts look the way they currently do. Having as many cars on the screen at one time is evidently what NASCAR partners desire. Hamlin emphasized that this has been requested for a long time, and the intention is for everyone to expect a certain car to pass another, although this often doesn't happen.

“It’s definitely proving what the drivers have been asking for, which is more off-throttle time. We’ve been, I’ve been in the sport for 20 years. We keep asking for it. They keep reducing the off-throttle time, and the passing becomes more and more difficult. But that is because, head offices down in Daytona in the headquarters, they want more cars to be on the screen at one time. They want you to believe that that car could pass that car. They don’t care if they actually do."- Denny Hamlin said.

The goal of everything is to keep the fans of this sport on their seats, hoping that they will see something exciting. Denny Hamlin knows these games well and knows what the intentions are behind the scenes.

Denny Hamlin finds it fascinating how certain decisions made by NASCAR's decision-makers might not always align with what fans watch during broadcasts. He suggests that the recent race at Bristol may serve as an example of this disconnect.

When Hamlin talks about watching the race back, he reflects on his driving style during the event. He describes feeling like he was pushing his car to its limits, driving more aggressively than others, particularly when navigating through slower cars. Despite this aggressive driving, he explains that his car managed to maintain its performance until the end of the race, despite concerns about potential tire issues.

Hamlin wasn't the only person scared for his car and tires, as most NASCAR drivers reported the same problem after the race. Many things made this race specific and caused such dissatisfaction among the drivers. However, some are happy with this race, considering that it brought a lot of unknowns. Sometimes fans and NASCAR drivers like to be a part of races that are not so predictable. Hamlin made the best use of the opportunity that appeared to him, and through experience and quality managed to achieve another victory. His ambitions are to finally win the NASCAR Cup Series, although that is a challenging task.

Denny Hamlin further explains that towards the end of the race, both his and another driver's lap times dropped greatly, indicating that their cars were losing performance simultaneously. This suggests that they were both pushing their vehicles to their limits, with nothing left in terms of performance by the race's conclusion. The NASCAR veteran stresses that this race was chaotic and unpredictable.

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Interstate Batteries Toyota, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series EchoPark Automotiv
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Interstate Batteries Toyota, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series EchoPark Automotiv© Sean Gardner/Getty Images Sport
 

During his podcast, Denny Hamlin also reflected on the previous weekend in which he was not as successful as in Bristol. The experienced driver finished the race in 14th place.

One key decision involved choosing to stay out on the track to secure a stage win instead of focusing only on the overall race victory. According to Hamlin, this choice contributed to a more prosperous afternoon for his No. 11 team.

Denny Hamlin on the COTA race

Hamlin explains that capturing a stage win provided some comfort, even if it meant sacrificing the opportunity to win the entire race. He put an accent on the dynamic nature of racing, where decisions must be made quickly based on the actions of other drivers and the evolving race conditions.

Balancing the desire to win with strategic considerations is challenging. Hamlin stresses that in some instances, it's necessary to prioritize short-term gains, such as securing stage points, over long-term success.

Denny Hamlin reflects on the importance of earning a playoff point for his No. 11 team at COTA, underscoring its importance in the context of their general performance.

He explains that achieving this playoff point required strategic positioning within the race. Hamlin emphasizes the necessity of running competitively in the top 10, both in qualifying and during the race. When the opportunity appeared for the team to stay out while others pitted, they made the calculated decision to do so, which eventually led to earning the playoff point.

Despite finishing in 14th place, Hamlin believes that the team's performance throughout the weekend was commendable. He admits the disappointment of not achieving a higher finish but claims that their competitiveness in terms of lap times and racing performance was notably improved compared to previous road course races.

Denny Hamlin
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