Denny Hamlin Backs Off New Hampshire Guarantee, Team Screws Up Air Pressures In Qualifying

A refueling miscue during his final pit stop cost Denny Hamlin a top-10 finish in last week's NASCAR Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway. But despite the setback, the driver wasn't lacking for confidence after the race.

Shortly after the checkered flag, he posted a tweet seeming to guarantee a rebound this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

So Hamlin called his shot, right? Apparently not. On Friday, Hamlin backed off his bold proclamation and said he was merely expressing confidence in his team.

"Just confident that we could win," Hamlin said, explaining the reasoning for his initial tweet. "It's no different than the nine Chase tracks that we go to, other than Dover where I'm going to be realistic. I feel like I can go win each and every one of them.

"It was really meant to be nothing more than just, ‘Hey, we'll get them next week. We'll win it next week.' People were just taking it a little further than that, but I'm racing – doing the best I can – and that's all I'm going to do."

Hamlin's confidence likely stems from the fact that in the July Loudon event, he easily had the most dominant car. On that afternoon, he led a race-high 150 laps before miscommunication on whether to take two tires or four cost him an almost surefire victory, as a spirited charge fell short and he finished a close second to Kasey Kahne.

"When we come back here, we know that we did have the best car here in July," Hamlin said. "We didn't finish it off, but those are mistakes that we all learn from. So as long as we don't have that flub again, there's no reason why we still won't be in contention with 50 laps to go again."

The speed Hamlin had in July was again present on Friday, as the No. 11 Toyota paced the opening round of practice. But just like last week, another mistake by his team proved costly as the wrong air pressures in the tires hampered Hamlin and he was only able to post the 32nd-fastest time in qualifying.

"I knew something was really, really wrong because the car was bobbing down real bad," he said. "Simple mistake. We'll rebound from it. We're quick enough. We'll get them, but that's frustrating. Holy cow...I knew something had to be wrong. If there was nothing wrong than I would really be shaking my head.

"At least we identified what the problem was."

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.