Denny Hamlin: Thoughts on Being the Elder Statesman at Joe Gibbs Racing

on 400 Qualifying
The Question was asked by us: On the lighter side, I was wondering what your thoughts are on being the elder statesman at Joe Gibbs Racing? Has that changed anything regarding your overall role with the team?

It’s changed a little bit.  I think I’ve taken more of an approach of trying to make our cars better meeting with department heads or what have you to make more of a forward role in figuring out what we need to do to get better.  Because, believe me, I don’t want to go to the racetrack every single week and say, Man, I know we can run top five, but are we going to have the best car?  I doubt it.  Probably a Hendrick car will have the best car.  Probably one of those guys are going to hit it and we’re going to be chasing them.  I don’t like that attitude and feeling that way when we go to the racetrack.  I want to feel like we can win every single week we step in the car.

It takes me and Kyle and Joey to step up and kind of fill the gap that Tony left here as far as doing the hard work of going and doing some testing at these racetracks, figuring out what we need to get better.  It’s really on all of our shoulders, not just mine because I’ve been here the longest.

Media Teleconference, July 28th, 2009

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About Christopher Smith

A long time fan of NASCAR, he attended his first race as a kid in 1979 at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the World 600. Christopher watched Darrell Waltrip drive his way to victory and from that day forward he’s been hooked. As president of, Christopher launched the site in 2000 and in the past decade, it has grown into a NASCAR-accredited web site hosting multiple podcasts, dedicated writers and race coverage at the majority of NASCAR-sanctioned events. Christopher is an official member of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA).

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