Denny Hamlin Names the “Sweetheart Type” Racetracks That NASCAR Should Give a Pass Amidst the Heavy Schedule Overhauls

Published 06/30/2022, 5:20 AM EDT
LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE – JULY 18: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, talks to crew on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 18, 2021 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

There are some places, some things in life, that just, without any logical or technical or application-based explanations, continue to endear us. The same applies to race tracks as well, something Denny Hamlin recently pointed out.

In a recent interview, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was asked about his affection for Pocono, as well as the fact that the schedule only visits it once a year now, to which Hamlin answered by naming the racetracks that hold a special place in everyone’s hearts despite the other factors that work against them.

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“There’s places in our schedule for those sweetheart-type racetracks. The Martinsvilles, Poconos, Darlingtons, that maybe aren’t huge markets. But they’re part of our schedule, part of our history that need to continue to have their place,” he said.

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Denny Hamlin calls the variability of the NASCAR schedule a positive thing

For the last few years, NASCAR has been quite brave with the schedule and the racetracks, and the type of racetracks it visits.

This behavior has led to many purists criticizing the sport for overlooking the historically important tracks and including experimental events. All of which, in fact, have worked quite well.

But this is something that Denny Hamlin feels is a good thing.

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 06: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, races during the qualifying heat for the NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on February 06, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

“When you have one event, it forces the people in that area. If you want to watch NASCAR, you gotta come this time. You can’t put it off till the next time and then by then they have another excuse why they can’t come,” he said.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver continued by describing how it forces the people in a particular area to “show up” when NASCAR comes into town once a year, compared to more than once.

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“I think the variability in the schedule that’s been something, a good positive thing for our sport,” Hamlin added.

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Shaharyar Khan Chauhan

1317 articles

Shaharyar is an F1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for a better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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