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Ep. 207: Denny Hamlin, defending Daytona 500 winner

By Nate Ryan, NASCAR on NBC Sports

Denny Hamlin, the defending Daytona 500 winner and driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, on the pro-am golf tournament he just played that tested his surgically repaired shoulder (1:00) and put him up against some famous competition (2:00); recalling the end of his victory in last year’s Daytona 500 (3:30); the quasi-deal he had with teammate Kyle Busch for restarts in the final 10 laps (5:30); outrunning Busch for much of the 2019 season (6:30); reflecting on how the championship got away at Homestead-Miami Speedway (7:30); why Denny had “a little bit left” before the fateful decision to put tape on the grille (8:30); and why he already got past second-guessing the decision (9:30); his faith in crew chief Chris Gabehart and maturation as a driver (10:30); becoming an iRacing team owner (11:30); co-owner Michael Jordan’s involvement in the iRacing Jumpman paint scheme (12:30); the blowback to iRacing not being deserving of the attention (13:30); his reaction to the death of Kobe Bryant (15:30); what it means to be a #GirlDad (17:30); “Taylor TV” and Denny’s oldest daughter (18:30); being known as one of NASCAR’s best interviews (20:30); the input of drivers in creating the new short-track package for 2020 (22:15); addressing issues with Goodyear in a “Come to Jesus” meeting (23:30); how close Cup drivers came to unionizing five years ago (25:30); whether he laments that forming a union would help stabilize driver salaries in such a pivotal season for free agency (27:30); what Denny expects from some motivated drivers (29:15); Brad Keselowski’s recent comments about how veterans were affected by the low-horsepower, high-downforce package last year (30:30); his memories of Late Model crew chief Rodney Estes, who recently died (31:45) and getting closure before he was gone (33:15) and their incredible run in 2002-03 (34:15); everything seeming to be lining up for Denny in the 2020 Cup season (36:00)

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