The Virginia native has four career Sprint Cup wins at the historic half-mile track and with the Oct. 26 race marking the beginning of the Eliminator Round, a fifth victory would guarantee him a spot in the Championship Round.
“No win would be bigger than what this one is, if we were to get it this weekend at Martinsville,” Hamlin said.
In addition to his four Sprint Cup wins, Hamlin also boasts an average finish of 8.7 in 17 career starts at the historic half-mile speedway. He’s only finished outside of the top 10 four times.
“This is obviously our best track left in the Chase and it’s going to be a key part of whether we are part of the championship picture at Homestead or not,” Hamlin said. “So, I think that this is a pivotal weekend for us. If we don’t get a win, we’ve got to get a top five finish to give ourselves a chance.”
For Hamlin and his Joe Gibbs Racing team, the race strategy has changed from when the Chase started six weeks ago to now.
“I think we have to be faster now that you’ve only got eight cars. The field is cut in half,” he said. “Before, when you had 16 (cars in the Chase), you could count on guys eliminating themselves with mistakes, but you just can’t count on that now. I think you’re going to have to have all-out speed.”
The Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 race weekend kicks off on Friday with the Virginia Lottery Pole Day.
Ticket prices for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 begin at just $45.