NASCAR may have been off last week, but Denny Hamlin still found a way to experience the thrill of winning, courtesy of good friend Bubba Watson.
Hamlin was pulling hard for Watson, who won the Masters on Sunday in a thrilling sudden death playoff.
"It's just one of those days when you're proud to be someone's friend," Hamlin said. "It's no different than when I was watching Jay White in the Truck race with two laps to go with a chance to win: I'm nervous because it's my friend.
"It's just a great feeling; I felt like I won it myself."
Hamlin and Watson's friendship can be traced back a couple of years when the two were introduced and played a round of golf in Phoenix. From there, their friendship blossomed as the two not only shared a love of golf but racing as well.
Watson even allowed Hamlin to caddy for him last week during the annual Par-3 Tournament held the Wednesday before the Masters. It was then, Hamlin joked, where he taught Watson the remarkable shot that won the Masters in a playoff.
"I don't know what it is about our personalities, but we seem to get along," Hamlin said. "Right from the get go, we met on the golf course and have played probably 10 rounds together since then. You learn a lot about his personality and the way he does things."
Hamlin has even gone as far to have a custom driving suit made for Watson featuring a similar scheme to that of the famous General Lee car which Watson had purchased earlier in the year at an auction. A helmet is in the works to complete Watson's outfit.
"He's not going to do it halfway," Hamlin said.
Added Hamlin: "It's not too often you get to caddy for the 2012 Masters champ."
Motorsports editor Jeff Gluck contributed to this story.