– Two wins for Denny Hamlin in 2017. Two wins is good. Is it good enough?
– No, not really. We expect, you know, three or more in any given season. When you count exhibition races, we– we– we stay on that pace. But definitely, we– we need to win more regular season races to give ourselves a little bit more of a cushion in the playoffs so– so we don’t feel that sense of urgency when you get down to these cutoff races.
ALAN CAVANNA: You look at how good Gibbs was in Toyota, you know, you can improve the car. You can improve the engine. What can you do to improve the driver?
– A lot of things. I mean, I keep notes. Starting, really, at the beginning of last year, I’ve been keeping a lot of personal driver notes that I can improve on in certain racetracks. I think, you know, getting a little bit better on restarts would help. That’s such a crucial and– and part of how you finish nowadays that it’s an integral part of where I need to work on.
ALAN CAVANNA: Does one stick with you from last year?
– Probably Phoenix of last year. I mean, you know, the– the playoff race, we dominated really much of the race. And we just had one slip up on pit road, and then I wasn’t able to hold my track position, and you know, we let that one slip away right before Homestead.
ALAN CAVANNA: And finally, I look at your stats, your career. I think you can call– we can call you the best driver without a title right now. Is that fair?
– Yeah. It’s not necessarily the title you want to have. I mean, you want to, you know, definitely have a championship before things are all said and done. I got plenty of years to get that done, but every year is a little bit more urgent, right? I mean, the– you know, time’s ticking. You’ve got to perform well.
But you know, we definitely take solace in last year was a career year as far as stats is concerned, when it comes to, you know, top fives, top tens, and average finish. So we keep improving. Me and Wheels keep getting better, and we hopefully will get that championship soon.