DOB: Nov. 18, 1980
Hometown: Chesterfield, Va.
At 28, Denny Hamlin is the old man at Joe Gibbs Racing. Teammate Kyle Busch is 24 and Joey "White Bread" Logano just turned 14, so one wonders if the elder Hamlin sometimes plods through the race shop muttering "damn kids" under his breath as he tries not to step on their skateboards. Between that and the fact that his name sounds like a menu item at IHOP, it’s no wonder he looks so glum. He probably also gets teased because Hamlin is a rarity in modern-day stock car racing – he’s actually from the South.
All kidding aside, Hamlin could very well be NASCAR’s new "Ironman," the driver that racks up a huge number of consecutive starts, consistently scores one or two wins every year and always finishes well in the points standings. Not every driver gets to be Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards or Jimmie Johnson – some drivers were made to be quiet but consistent.
Hamlin broke into the Cup scene full-time in 2006 and surprised everyone by winning the Budwieser Shootout, becoming the first Rookie of The Year candidate to do so. He won two races and finished third in the points, making him the highest-scoring rookie in NASCAR’s modern era. He has qualified for The Chase every year since.
Keep an eye on Hamlin – he’s going to be around for a long time.
In his down time, Hamlin enjoys boating, skiing, travel, playing cards and competing in online racing leagues. He also enjoys following Virginia Tech and Washington Redskins football. Isn’t it odd how all Joe Gibbs drivers like the Redskins?
Hamlin has been seen with Kristin Buntain, a girlfriend from his high school days.