Author Topic: And the Real Winner Is…  (Read 1841 times)


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And the Real Winner Is…
« on: April 22, 2007, 02:46:35 PM »
The real winners of Saturday’s race at Phoenix were the fans. Particularly those from Virginia.

Everybody knew before Saturday that Denny Hamlin was racing with a heavy heart for the victims and families of the Virginia Tech tragedy.

When #11 led 70 laps early in the Subway Fresh Fit 500, I assumed it was simply a continuation of Joe Gibbs Racing having the best handle on the Car of Tomorrow.  Then came the speeding ticket on lap 102. His fine: Go to the back of the pack. Go directly back. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Surely, his chances of sporting his Virginia Tech hat in Victory Lane seemed over.

As he methodically began working his way back up through the pack, it started to sink in that this man had a lot more than just a great car and solid driving skills going for him. He had a will to win that eclipsed what we see from even the most competitive athletes. He had a fire in his heart that was driving him to win for a greater cause than money, trophies or points.

By lap 266 he was passing Junior for the 8th spot, but he was still 9 seconds behind the leader…

9 laps to go, and Denny passes Matt Kenseth for 3rd…

…which is where he ended up finishing.

Did he win for the people of Virginia? No. Did he succeed? Absolutely. If the lap penalty hadn’t been a factor, there was a very good chance that Denny might have cruised to his first victory of the season. The courage and determination he displayed by working his way back up to 3rd was a far greater victory than the (seemingly) easy win he almost had.

"It was a big week for Virginia. Something had to happen up there to kind of lift everyone's spirits... If I had that trophy, it would definitely be in Virginia Tech's hands before the end of the week" Denny said after the race.

Mr. Hamlin, thank you for the most inspirational performance I’ve seen since I started watching NASCAR. You did Virginia proud.
- Scott Spain


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Re: And the Real Winner Is…
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2007, 04:36:08 PM »
Denny's run was spectacular! Not only is he one of the great drivers driving today but yes you could feel his heavy heart and determination for VT. His post race interview was very emotional and he felt as if he had let VT and his team down. To the contrary, he was an inspiration to the human spirit and is definately a winner!
"Everyone's invited to the Barn for bologna burgers next Saturday night"