Life has a way of coming
full circle for many folks.
Denny Hamlin – this year’s
Daytona 500 winner and
the 2010 NASCAR Sprint
Cup Series championship
runner-up – will likely be
one of those people.
JOE GIBBS RACING
FEDEX, SPORT CLIPS
Hamlin, who grew up in Chesterfield, Virginia,
just outside of Richmond, cut his teeth racing Late
Models on short tracks. And he worked alongside
his father, Dennis, in a less-than-flamboyant
occupation before hitting the big-time in NASCAR’s
top series a decade ago.
When Hamlin finally hangs up his driving helmet,
don’t be the least bit surprised if he returns to
his former trade – the one he says he would have
continued if racing at NASCAR’s premier level
hadn’t worked out.
“I would have been working at a trailer shop, for
sure, in Chesterfield, Virginia,” Hamlin said. “That’s
what I was doing before, and I enjoyed doing that
with my dad. I would still like to open up another
trailer shop at some point because it’s what I love
to do. I love wiring and fabricating.”
If Hamlin doesn’t return to the trailer business –
or even if he does – the Joe Gibbs Racing driver
might devote some time to giving seminars on how
not to get injured playing basketball. Hamlin has
suffered a torn ACL – first in his left knee, then later
in his right knee – while playing pickup ball on two
occasions over the past six years. Both required
surgery to repair the ligament damage but neither
required him to miss time behind the wheel of his
No. 11 Toyota.
Speaking of basketball, perhaps Hamlin will
spend some time in his post-driving years with his
good friend, the legendary six-time NBA champion
Michael Jordan. Hamlin, who is a season ticket
holder for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets which is
owned by Jordan, has a Jordan Brand logo that has
taken permanent residence on his driving suit. Now,
if only M.J. would give Hamlin some tips on how to
avoid injury on the basketball court, Hamlin might
stand a better chance of avoiding another dreaded
ACL tear while helping others do the same.