Denny Hamlin Looks To Improve Daytona 500 Results In 2012

Denny Hamlin, to put it nicely, has historically stunk in the Daytona 500.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will race in the Daytona 500 for the seventh time on Sunday and enters the "Great American Race" with a best career finish of 17th.

His average finish? 23.2.

That's not a misprint. Hamlin has never finished in the top 15, even though he's always been running at the finish.

What gives?

"Our biggest race of the year is the biggest crapshoot," Hamlin said Wednesday. "Most of the time, you've just got to be lucky. That's a lot of our sport nowadays.

"Usually, whoever wins the Super Bowl, it's because they've performed well during the regular season and they performed in the playoffs. For us, it's just like...where you end up (is) because (if) you avoid the wrecks or not."

For that reason, Hamlin doesn't feel he has anything to prove despite his lackluster Daytona finishes.

"For us, our season starts five or six races in," he said. "That's when we know where we stand as far as competition is concerned. ... Here, your fate – you decide some of it, but most of it you don't."

Denny Hamlin's Daytona 500 results:

2006 – 30th

2007 – 28th

2008 – 17th

2009 – 26th

2010 – 17th

2011 – 21st

Average finish – 23.2

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