NASCAR

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11262148 Accomplished man Accomplished+man NASCAR

Denny Hamlin’s competitiveness has been evident from the moment he debuted at the age of 7 - and won in his first race.

He’s been successful in the Cup, Nationwide and Truck series and finished as the Cup series runner-up in 2010.

Hamlin’s list of accomplishments is lengthy for a driver in only his eighth full season of competition. Here’s a look at the top-10 NASCAR achievements of the Joe Gibbs Racing driver:
 

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11262166 Mr. Consistent Mr.+Consistent NASCAR

Hamlin’s talent and ability to work well with his team have made him a factor from the moment he began competing in the Cup arena. That’s evidenced by many aspects of his success, but most prominently through his constant appearance in NASCAR’s postseason Chase to the championship. Hamlin has made the Chase each of his seven full-time seasons of Cup competition.
 

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11262164 Title focus Title+focus NASCAR

Hamlin was a championship contender from the opening stages of his Cup career in 2006. With Mike Ford guiding the effort, Hamlin and his JGR group earned a pair of wins at the notoriously difficult Pocono Raceway and went on to perform well in the Chase to finish third in the standings to Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth. He has a top championship finish of second, which came in 2010 when he fell 39 points shy to Johnson.

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11262168 Leading the way Leading+the+way NASCAR

Hamlin, 32, has guided the Joe Gibbs Racing organization as a veteran for several years, working as a team leader to younger teammates Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. Hamlin has embraced that team leader role, too, working as a seasoned veteran to keep the team operating as a unit. In 2013, he'll get some help from another longtime NASCAR driver who will be new to the team fold, Matt Kenseth.

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11262169 Consistently good Consistently+good NASCAR

Hamlin has enjoyed a steady level of success throughout his racing career. In the Cup ranks, he’s won at least one race a season in each of his seven full-time years. He has an overall total of 22 career wins in NASCAR’s elite series. In the Nationwide ranks, he has won at least one race in five of the last six seasons, including a victory in 2011, and has a total of 11 trips to Victory Lane. He also has two Camping World Truck Series victories for 35 overall wins in NASCAR's top three series.
 

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11262167 Winning ways Winning+ways NASCAR

Hamlin’s five-win season in 2009 not only netted him a fifth-place finish in the standings, but also handed him the crown of driver most likely to topple Jimmie Johnson in 2010.He made a valiant effort at doing just that, winning a series-leading eight races and leading the standings entering the season finale before finishing 39 points shy of Johnson in the championship race for his top points finish of second.

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11262170 On the money On+the+money NASCAR

Hamlin has already racked up more than $50 million in Cup purses. Through 251 races, Hamlin has 22 wins and 125 top-10 finishes, including 78 top fives, to put him among the sport’s elite season after season.

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11261997 Double play Double+play NASCAR

Pocono has long been heralded as one of those tracks that takes years to master. Not so for Hamlin, who later said he prepped for the races there by playing video game simulations of the track. It obviously worked, as he earned both his first and second career Cup victories at the track, sweeping both 2006 races there.

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11262165 Head of the class Head+of+the+class NASCAR

Hamlin finished third in the Cup standings in his rookie season, a year when consistency kept him in contention. He showed maturity in taking care of his car and staying out of trouble, incurring only one DNF in a year when he earned a pair of wins and 20 top-10 finishes, eight of them top-fives. He posted an average start of 13.4 and an average finish of 12.5 while completing 97.3 percent of all possible laps to gain the rookie honor.
 

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11262149 Fast rookie Fast+rookie NASCAR

Hamlin ran only one Nationwide race prior to his full-season debut in 2005, a year in which he earned 11 top-10 finishes, one of them a top-five, with an average finish of 15.7 to take fifth in the series standings with his Joe Gibbs Racing team. Hamlin continued to race full time in the series in 2006, pulling weekly double duty and finishing fourth in the Nationwide standings.
 

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NASCAR 167 43 Denny Hamlin: Top-10 NASCAR accomplishments 11262036 Fast start Fast+start NASCAR

Hamlin ran five of his 15 career Truck races in 2004, but his first was strong. Racing at what is now O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, he finished 10th in his first outing in one of NASCAR’s major touring series for his top finish that year. Since then, he has topped that with wins in the series at Martinsville Speedway in 2011 and 2012.

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