NASCAR Indianapolis Notebook: Denny Hamlin Weathers Disintegrating Hood In Practice

(NASCAR Wire Service)

Reid Spencer ~ NASCAR Wire Service

Denny Hamlin (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

INDIANAPOLIS—Sporting the new high-drag configuration for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Denny Hamlin punched a big hole in the air in posting the top speed in opening practice.

On Friday at the Brickyard, the air decided to punch back.

As Hamlin was running his first lap in the second of three practice sessions at the famed 2.5-mile track, the site of Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN), the hood of his No. 11 Toyota flew up and back, crashing into the windshield and breaking into pieces.

Hamlin drove his wounded car to the garage, where crew chief Dave Rogers and the No. 11 team repaired the hood in time for Hamlin to return to the track less than an hour into the session.

Hamlin speculated that the hood was inadvertently left unpinned, but he wasn’t certain about the cause of the mishap.

“(The hood pins) were probably hanging, I would say,” Hamlin said. “It wasn’t on TV, so I’m just assuming they were probably out. You know the speeds we were going, when that hood comes up, it just disintegrates and blows. The good thing is it didn’t all stay together. The hood blew apart so much that I had a gap there I could see.”

Hamlin also was worried about other potential damage to the car.

“The roof is what we’re most concerned about,” Hamlin said. “It blew the roof apart a lot and did some damage inside the car. It’s just a lot of force there that tears up a lot of stuff anytime the hood comes up.”

The incident didn’t slow Hamlin’s car appreciably.

After topping the speed chart at 182.208 mph in the opening practice, Hamlin was 12th quickest after returning to the track in second session, running 179.968 mph in warmer temperatures.


Joey Logano would like nothing better than to fill the one glaring hole on Roger Penske’s resume as a team owner.

Penske has won a championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (2012 with driver Brad Keselowski). Team Penske driver Will Power is the reigning IndyCar Series champion.

Penske has 16 Indianapolis 500 trophies in his showcase. Keselowski won the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at the Brickyard in 2012.

But the victory Penske now covets most is a Brickyard 400 win at Indianapolis. The boss has made that abundantly clear to both his Sprint Cup Series drivers, and their next opportunity comes Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Any time we hear Indy coming up, we start getting the calls from Roger,” Logano said. “We really want to win this race. This is the one on his bucket list that he hasn’t gotten yet, and we talk about it a lot. It would be very special to give him a Brickyard 400, along with the Indy 500 he won earlier this year and the Daytona 500 we won earlier, too.”

In fact, Logano gave Penske his second victory in the Great American Race in February, and a victory on Sunday at Indy would be doubly sweet.

The last driver to win both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same season was Jamie McMurray in 2010—driving for Chip Ganassi, Penske’s archrival in both the NASCAR and IndyCar garages.


The No. 98 Ford driven by Timmy Hill had a multitude of issues in Friday’s Sprint Cup practice. In the second session, a 35-pound tungsten weight fell off the car. NASCAR typically takes a dim view of ballast that is not secured properly.

The sanctioning body confiscated the jettisoned weight and will address the matter in next week’s competition meeting.

In Happy Hour, Hill’s Ford spun off Turn 4 and slammed nose-first into the inside wall, forcing his team to go to a backup car. As a tow truck was removing Hill’s car from the track, the back of the car scraped the track, knocking off the rear extension.

Hill didn’t participate in the opening practice session. In hindsight, he might have been better off skipping them all.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing