For anyone hoping that 2010 would be the year that Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports got knocked off their pretty little NASCAR pedestal, the news of Denny Hamlin’s ACL tear was like nails on a chalkboard.
Nobody wanted to hear it.
Hamlin, the 5th-year driver out of Joe Gibbs Racing, has been the consensus #1 pick to end Johnson’s reign atop the NASCAR world. He ended the 2009 season with a win at Homestead, and all-in-all outperformed the Hendrick teams during the Chase, with some misfortunes keeping him from winning the title.
But when the news of his ACL tear broke, many feared that Hamlin wouldn’t even be a contender in 2010.
Denny begs to differ.
According to a post on Hamlin’s Twitter page on Monday, Hamlin not only believes that he will still be a contender, but that the injury will actually motivate him that much more. The post read:
“[I] have always been very active outside of racing, mostly to stay in shape. [T]his [the injury] is a minor setback that will only serve as motivation for me[.]“
Hamlin already drives as if he has the most desire to win out of anybody(besides Kyle Busch). Now with the pressure of being able to contend for the big prize, and with an injury that he claims “motivates” him, Denny Hamlin could be the single biggest threat to, not only contend with Johnson, but win the title as well.
Look out NASCAR. Denny Hamlin’s injury isn’t going to slow him down; He is merely motivated by it.