Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/30/14
MOORESVILLE, N.C. – In last year’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, home-state hero Denny Hamlin drove Kyle Busch Motorsports’ (KBM) No. 18 Tundra to his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory. With the monumental win, Hamlin became the 23rd driver in NASCAR history to win at least one race in each of its top three divisions in his career, and just the fourth to accomplish the feat in the same season.   The 32-year-old driver returns to ‘The Paperclip’ for this year’s 200-lap event, and although he is once again driving for KBM, he’ll be behind the wheel of the team’s second entry – the No. 51 Toyota Tundra – and he’ll have a different chassis – #134 – underneath him. Hamlin has finished in the top-five in each of his three starts for his Joe Gibb’s Racing teammate’s Truck Series team the last two seasons, including a fifth-place finish earlier this year in the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The best recipe for success at a short track is to start up front and stay out front, and that is exactly what Hamlin has been able to accomplish on a regular basis at Martinsville. He has started inside the top five in four of his five Truck Series starts and led 60 or more laps in each of his last three. The Virginia native has produced one Truck Series win and three top-10 finishes. He has started inside the top five in half of his 14 career starts in the Sprint Cup Series and has led 30 or more laps nine times. The four-time winner in NASCAR’s premier division has also captured two poles and collected nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. While the truck number and the faces surrounding the five-time winner at the .526-mile oval may be different this weekend, Hamlin’s goal remains the same – start up front, stay out front and end the day in victory lane.  Denny Hamlin, Driver of the No. 18 NCWTS Toyota Tundra: What is the key to being successful in a Truck Series race at Martinsville? “You really have to manage your tires and take care of your equipment until the end of the race. Last year we were really good on the long runs. Each time we put tires on, I didn’t abuse my truck for the first five to 10 laps to try to make sure I had something at the end and that really paid off for us.” What kind of advantage can running the Truck Series race Saturday give you for Sunday’s Cup Series race? “I think that I learned some things in last year’s Truck Series race — the track didn’t rubber in as good as I thought it would and a little bit about the transitions that it went through — that gave me a little bit more information to put towards running the Cup car on Sunday. When you run a Nationwide Series race, you typically have more of the Cup guys that are also running — Kyle (Busch), Joey (Logano), Brad (Keselowski) and Kasey (Kahne) usually run a lot of them — where in the Truck Series race I think that Kevin (Harvick) is the only other Cup guy racing Saturday. I’m sure that other guys — drivers and crew chiefs — will be paying close attention to the race and seeing what the track does and how tires wear, but I’ll be able to experience it firsthand and share what I learn with Darian (Grubb) Saturday night after the race.” Rick Ren, Crew Chief of the No. 18 NCWTS Toyota Tundra: Denny won this race last year in KBM’s No. 18 Tundra, but he’ll be working with a different team and driving a different chassis this year. What are your expectations for this weekend? “We had a really good run with Brian Ickler in this same Tundra at Martinsville in 2010 and we have all of our notes from last year, so I’m really looking forward to this weekend. It’s hard to ask for a better race car driver at Martinsville than Denny Hamlin. I think it’s a win-win for both Denny and our team — I can’t imagine that he isn’t going to learn something in our race Saturday that he can put towards his Cup car for Sunday’s race.” Denny Hamlin’s No. 51 Toyota Tundra: Chassis 134: Chassis 134 will make its first start of 2012 in Saturday’s Kroger 200. The Tundra has a pair of top-three finishes over its three career starts for KBM, including a runner-up finish from owner-driver Kyle Busch in the 2010 AAA Insurance 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.

Alabama man charged with murder of Jakell Mitchell

Report: Patriots used Dolphins' Week 1 quotes as motivation

Broncos critical of Philip Rivers' attitude on the field

Mariota wins Heisman Trophy

Report: Melky Cabrera, White Sox agree to 3-year deal

WATCH: Penguins commentator makes poor 'I can't breathe' joke


Would Percy Harvin take pay cut to return to Jets?

Nationals GM disappointed Bryce Harper missed NatsFest

Broncos to place Montee Ball on season-ending IR

Johnny Manziel could have made $8-10 million in college?

Will Muschamp says his only offer came from Auburn

NFL relocation to Los Angeles is gaining steam

WATCH: Santana Moss ejected for getting in ref's face

WATCH: Rey Maualuga flagged for taunting Johnny Manziel

WATCH: Jeremy Hill rejected by Browns fan on leap

WATCH: Patriots return blocked kick for a TD

Pirates unveil alternate camo jerseys for 2015 season

LeBron expected to attend Johnny Manziel's first start

Twitter cracks jokes over Tim Bradley's disfigured face

WATCH: Brewer gets away with ridiculously long travel

Melvin Gordon wishes he played more in record game

Prospective Las Vegas NHL owner would let fans name team

Will Muschamp already recruiting for Auburn

WATCH: Mavs play keep-away with Marreese Speights' shoe

Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Maualuga flagged for taunting Manziel

Jeremy Hill rejected by Browns fan

Broncos critical of Philip Rivers

SEE: Announcer's 'I can't breathe' joke

Marcus Mariota wins Heisman Trophy

Muschamp already recruiting at new job

Nats GM 'disappointed' in Bryce Harper

The five best rookie receivers of 2014

NFL relocation to LA looks likely

Peterson thinking about Olympics?

Brett Lawrie makes little girl's day

Braxton Miller returning to OSU?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.