Denny Hamlin, the Joe Gibbs Racing veteran, gifted himself, the team, and Manufacturer Toyota their first cup series race win in 2022 with his heroics in last week’s Richmond Cup race, the Toyota Owners 400. This was a first win for Toyota in 2022 as they failed to convert their front running position to a win in the last 6 rounds before Richmond.
In the latter stages of the race, fans were expecting bad runs by Toyota to continue as though they were in front of raw none of the four JGR, who is the top Toyota team, drivers were expected to win. Things changed very quickly as an excellent pit strategy to provide Denny Hamlin with a fresh set of tires allowed him to go on the last lap onslaught to the top alongside fellow veteran Kevin Harvick who also employed the same strategy.
Now, Denny Hamlin has come forth claiming the narrative around the return of Toyota and JGR to the top is not yet a complete truth as he demanded fans to be patient for at least a month.
Find out what Denny Hamlin said
Denny Hamlin acknowledged that if he is to win or finish at 15th this weekend at Martinsville he would not be surprised. He explained his indifference by saying the team is taking decisions week in week out not long-term. He added that a lot of decisions are made based on the simulation runs also.
“It’s not that easy. Unfortunately, I wish it was that easy, but it’s not. Honestly, I told a few guys that if we went out there and we won, it wouldn’t surprise me. If we ran 15th this week, it would not surprise me. It’s so week-to-week right now whether you can guess right on the setup. And a lot of that guessing comes from what did simulation tell you,” Denny Hamlin said.
The veteran went on to say JGR had been lacking in areas of taking viable decisions but now they are slowly on track with making educated guesses in the right direction. Denny Hamlin added that JGR and Toyota are not back yet when thinking realistically. He went on to say that if Toyota can race well over a month, we can say they are truly back.
“We’ve just been off in that area, so we’ve had to make some educated guesses, but it looks like we’re heading and trending in the right direction. It’s still TBD from my aspect. I wouldn’t get too overjoyed. I’m not trying to be Denny Downer but I’m also being a realist and saying let’s get a month’s worth of races that go well and then we can say we’re back,” Denny Hamlin added.