Denny Hamlin has tried to learn to love Dover.
He just can't. Not yet, at least.
Maybe Hamlin has to learn to win at Dover before he can truly embrace the mile concrete oval.
Hamlin has been tormented for years by the track and voiced his disdain for Dover as finishes in the 30s or worse piled up. Hamlin also knows he can't focus on the past disappointments. He has to conquer his Dover demons and try and win there if he wants to keep his long shot bid to make Chase alive.
Winning the pole for Sunday's race was a nice start.
Hamlin, actually, has won the last two poles at Dover and parlayed his top spot into an eighth-place finish in the September race. The top-10 snapped a streak of three straight double-digit finishes at the Monster Mile. Hamlin had a four-race stretch from 2007-09 where he finished no better than 36th.
Those are usually the results for a driver like Casey Mears, not someone like Hamlin, who is always in the thick of the championship hunt.
His average Dover ...