Denny Hamlin’s Turn: 2024 Predicted as His Championship Year

Key Takeaways:

– NASCAR oddsmakers favor Denny Hamlin to win the 2024 championship, with equal odds allocated to Kyle Larson and William Byron.
– Despite never having won a championship, Hamlin has 54 NASCAR wins to his name.
– The veteran is part-owner of 23XI Racing, leading some to speculate if he could win a championship as a team owner, much like NASCAR legend Junior Johnson.
– Hamlin’s performance in the 2024 season has been consistent and promising, making it a viable opportunity for his first championship win.

As the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series moves forward, an exhilarating narrative is developing. Speeding up the leaderboard is no other than Denny Hamlin, who according to NASCAR oddsmakers, is a favorite to triumph this year. His compelling, steady performances throughout the season have made him a strong contender for the NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Step aside, much-loved drivers. Hamlin, the sport’s winningest villain, is nudging out all fan favorites. The fresh odds from the major sports betting platforms line up Hamlin, alongside William Byron and Kyle Larson, at 5-1 odds (+500). Notably, one sportsbook, Caesar’s, spots Hamlin as the outright favorite. He’s not just living up to these high stakes, but also giving fair reasons to justify his favorable odds.

Strength In Performance

Hamlin’s powerful performance and consistency are almost mythical. He’s been a contender in almost every single race this season, attributed to an epic run by the NASCAR veteran, whose vehicle and pit crew are unequivocally among the best on the track.

Apart from notching up 54 wins — ranking him 13th on the all-time wins list in NASCAR history— Hamlin trails only the 63 wins of Kyle Busch among active drivers. One stark difference: Hamlin has yet to bag a NASCAR Cup championship.

Growing Reputation

Currently, Hamlin sits in the 4th place, only 49 points behind the leader Kyle Larson. However, with three wins already under his belt this season, Hamlin’s driving style, his car, and his team, Joe Gibbs Racing, exude robustness.

Yes, Larson might edge past Hamlin with more top 10 finishes in the Next Gen era, and both are equally matched for wins. But Hamlin has ousted Larson every time they’ve finished 1-2 in six Cup Series races. With Larson exploring an Indy 500 opportunity, there may be room for distraction, a luxury Hamlin doesn’t have, or need.

Mapping the Future

The next race on May 5, 2024, at the Kansas Speedway, might offer more sparkle for Hamlin. Historically, he’s made a remarkable showing here, coming second in the fall race and winning the last year’s event.

His newfound relaxed demeanor suggests he’s brimming with confidence. He’s retreated from taunting rivals or provoking fans. More recently, he’s played a fair game and has been more outspoken about systemic issues in NASCAR, giving him a public favor. This season, Hamlin seems not to be proving but improving himself.

After the first 11 races, he’s recorded three wins and four top-10 finishes, which parallels his 2010—his most successful season to date. The difference this time? The absence of dominating champion, Jimmie Johnson.

The 43-year-old has reiterated that “worse drivers” than him have clinch championships. The 2024 season, however, is shaping up to be Hamlin’s best opportunity to join that list of champions.

Regardless of whether he clenches the championship as a driver or as an owner with his part-ownership of the 23XI Racing, one thing’s clear. The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series is unfolding as Denny Hamlin’s year, again.


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