In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2021 Daytona 500. Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the Top 30 Drivers of 2020.
4th Place – Denny Hamlin – 5033 pts
By the Numbers:
7 Wins in 2020 – Kevin Harvick might have been the cream of the crop this year when it came to wins, but Denny Hamlin was a close second. He collected 7 wins over the course of the season, a feat he had only bested once before, when he scored 8 in 2010.
9.31 Average Finish – Despite one less win than in 2010, Hamlin had a much more consistent year in 2020. This year he had a 9.31 average finish, while 2010’s was 12.94 – a difference of 3.63 spots. This year’s average finish was the best of his career, but 2010 – despite an extra win – was only his 8th best season.
4th Best Career Win Percentage – Denny Hamlin has racked up 44 wins over the 542 starts he’s had in his Cup Series career. Only 3 drivers have a Winning Percentage better than Hamlin’s 8.12% – Brad Keselowski (8.23%), Kyle Busch (10.00%), and Jimmie Johnson (12.10%). In other words, Denny Hamlin wins, on average, every 12.32 races he starts.
59.4% Quality Passes – By far the worst of the Final 4 drivers, Denny Hamlin’s Quality Pass Percentage was 59.4%. This means that for each of Denny Hamlin’s passes under green, only 59.4% of them were done in the Top 15. Some of this may boil down to strategy, as Denny often elected to spend the majority of his time at restrictor plate tracks at the back of the field, moving forward nearer to the end of the race in an attempt to stay away from wrecks.
1 DNF – Denny Hamlin’s lone DNF (Did Not Finish) came at the 16th race of the season, at Indianapolis. Most DNFs have a lot to do with the driver, but many can be caused by defects in the vehicle (either as a result of damage or not). Not many drivers have the good fortune to drive for a top-tier team for their entire Cup Series careers, as Denny Hamlin has. Pair that with being a talented driver, and you have one of the best DNF rates of all drivers (7.6%)
Denny Hamlin will continue his career with the same team that gave him his first shot at the Cup Series, Joe Gibbs Racing. He will return to the No. 11 Toyota in 2021.