Denny Hamlin will make his eighth-career start in the Sprint Unlimited (formerly Budweiser Shootout) in 2013. The prestigious pre-season exhibition race features the previous season’s Coors Light pole award winners and past Unlimited winners. Hamlin qualified as both a past winner (2006) and pole award winner in 2012, recording the fastest-qualifying lap three times last season (Fontana, Indianapolis and Dover).
Hamlin won the race in his first attempt in 2006, becoming the only rookie to ever drive to Victory Lane since the event’s inception in 1979. Hamlin qualified for the event after recording a pole at Phoenix in 2005 — when he only competed in seven races. He led 16 of 72 laps en route to the win, kick starting his ‘Rookie of the Year’ season.
Hamlin has four top-10 finishes in seven Sprint Unlimited starts, including a fifth-place finish one year ago in his first race with crew chief Darian Grubb.