Bookmaker odds didn’t favor Denny Hamlin on Monday at Texas Motor Speedway but considering that Hamlin has won two of the last three races in NASCAR, perhaps they should have.
Hamlin was able to hold off Jimmie Johnson to get the win for those that wagered on him at the Internet bookmaker.
Bookmaker odds on NASCAR have been pushed to Monday twice this season and in both instances, Hamlin won the rain-delayed races. Hamlin now has 10 wins in his career. He is still recovering from knee surgery but he ran every lap at California last week and he was in the car for every lap at Texas. "I’m trying to get it straight right now," said Hamlin after the win at Texas, "I did it for the long run. Even though it was going to take some sacrifice, I knew once I came back I was going to be stronger."
Hamlin was not really given much of a chance vs. the odds at the bookmaker considering he was starting 29th. Winners at Texas usually come from the Top 10 but a nine-car crash involving polesitter Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon shook things up with less than 20 laps to go. That wreck threw the entire finish of the race up for grabs and Hamlin took advantage. Gordon was probably the strongest car all day and taking him out of the race made it possible for Hamlin to win. "Definitely my fault," Stewart said about the wreck. After the restart, Hamlin was able to get past Jeff Burton and then he held off a fast-closing Jimmie Johnson. "Maybe one more lap I could have been alongside the 11 and had a victory," said Johnson.
There were 29 lead changes in the race and that tied the record for the Cup series at Texas. 12 different drivers led laps on Monday. Although Johnson did not win he did increase his overall point’s lead. Johnson continues to be the top driver in NASCAR and he is a regular favorite in Internet bookmaker odds. Hamlin is making some ground up though as he is now in the Top 12 in points after a very poor start to the season. Before this NASCAR season began, Hamlin was considered a real threat to Johnson for the overall Sprint Cup Championship and it now appears that Hamlin could be in the running when the season is over.