Tha Sports Junkies 101

Denny Hamlin Darlington Throwback Revealed



On Tuesday, Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing unveiled their paint scheme for this year’s Southern 500 at Darlington.  The number 11 Toyota Camry will honor Ray Hendrick and his iconic paint scheme, the Flying 11.  Hamlin grew up watching the Flying 11 race at Southside Speedway in the 1980’s.  Ray Hendrick, also known as “Mr. Modified”, had over 700 wins on short tracks, and the 11 team hopes to continue to legacy with a victory at Darlington Raceway.


Ray Hendrick not only raced local short tracks, he also spent some time in NASCAR.  In his time in the Cup Series, he notched two top tens, and in the Xfinity Series three top fives.  After passing away in 1992, Hendrick was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Darlington Raceway is a unique race track.  At 1.66 miles in length, and very small racing grooves, nicknames like “Too Tough To Tame”, “Darlington Stripe”, and the “The Lady In Black” truly describe this egg shaped race track. With all of the tracks challenges, some drivers have learned how to tame the South Carolina track.  The list includes Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex, Jr., Kyle Busch, Darrell Waltrip and even Denny Hamlin.

With the Southern 500 in just a few weeks, the 11 team already feels good about the rest of the regular season after scoring a win in New Hampshire and locking themselves into the playoffs. Though the team still wants to get all the playoff points they can over the next three races, which are all race tracks that Hamlin has previously won at.