(Press Release from New Hampshire Motor Speedway)
New Hampshire Motor Speedway is celebrating 25 years of racing at the track with a countdown of memorable moments
Denny Hamlin made two promises before he came to New Hampshire for the SYLVANIA 300 on Sept. 23, 2012. The pilot of the FedEx Toyota delivered on both at the Magic Mile.
Hamlin had guaranteed to the Twitter-verse earlier that week that he would win the SYLVANIA 300. And he made good on that pledge, dominating the second race in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Series championship. On Sept. 11, 2012, while in New Hampshire for the “Chase Across America,” Hamlin promised the 169th National Guard Med-Evac Aviation Unit out of Concord, N.H., that they could celebrate with him in Sunoco Victory Lane, and he made good on that one, too.
This unforgettable moment is No. 6 on New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s top-10 moments of all-time as it celebrates 25 years of racing at the Magic Mile.
“I told them that if I was going to win we were all going to go to victory lane together,” said Hamlin. “These guys and gals put their lives in danger to save others and it’s an honor to be with them, and it means a lot to me to be in their presence.”
No one was even close to Hamlin’s presence on the track that Sunday, leading 193 of the 300 laps. It was the fifth victory and 14th top-10 finish that season, and his second win and 10th top-10 finish in 14 starts at the Magic Mile.
“I just had to make sure I didn’t make any enemies out there as I was moving through the field,” said Hamlin, who started 32nd. “For me, it was ‘let’s not find a way to lose’ because I knew we had the fastest race car.”
Following Hamlin across the Granite Stripe were Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and 2012 July New Hampshire race winner Kasey Kahne.
Johnson left New Hampshire on top of the standings, one point ahead of eventual 2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who finished sixth.
“I kept waiting for him to make a mistake all day and he didn’t,” said Johnson of Hamlin. “I figured he would be the guy to beat and he certainly was. But we leave the track with an above-average finish and hope to go to Dover and have a great finish there.”
Great seats are still available for the 2015 Oxford Casino Season of Speed at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire 301 right around the corner on Sunday, July 19. To purchase tickets please call the NHMS ticket hotline at (603)783-4931 or visit www.nhms.com.