Hamlin's early mistake costs him championship - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Hamlin's early mistake costs him championship

by Matt Lincoln

HOMESTEAD, FL (WWBT) - While it wasn't officially over until long after, Denny Hamlin's title chances ended very early in Sunday's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Hamlin bumped Greg Biffle on lap 20 of the race, and went spinning into the infield.  The Chesterfield native held on to the car without wrecking, but just the tiniest bit of damage had all ready been done.  The right splitter - directly below where the headlight decal is located - had been damaged just the slightest bit.  That turned a great race car, into an average one.

Hamlin had made up almost 20 spots in those 20 laps before the accident.  But afterwards, the 11 car could never crack the top 10, and floundered at times on the brink of staying in the top 20.

The 11 crew took multiple pit stops to fix it, but they could never get the car to what it was at the beginning of the race.

Hamlin finished the Ford 400 in the 14th place, and lost the championship to Jimmie Johnson, who finished 2nd.

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