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Denny Hamlin nears mark for most speeding penalties in last 10 years

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 - Practice

JOLIET, IL - SEPTEMBER 16: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, looks on during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2016 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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Denny Hamlin is one pit road speeding penalty away from tying the mark for the most in a season in the past 10 years.

Hamlin, who is among the drivers still eligible for the championship, has been penalized 10 times for speeding on pit road this year.

Over the last 10 years, only Ryan Newmanand David Gilliland have had more penalties for speeding on pit road in a season, according to Racing Insights Inc. Newman had 11 in 2008; Gilliland had 11 in 2012.

Hamlin could tie — or top the mark — this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. He was caught speeding on pit road in this race a year ago.

Here is the list of most speeding penalties on pit road in the last 10 years:

11 - Ryan Newman (2008)

11 - David Gilliland (2012)

10 - Denny Hamlin (2016)

10 - Jamie McMurray (2010)

9 - Michael Waltrip (2008)

9 - Sam Hornish Jr. (2008)

Here is the list of most speeding penalties this season:

10 - Denny Hamlin

7 - Greg Biffle

7 - Kyle Larson

7 - Paul Menard

7 - Ryan Newman

7 - David Ragan

7 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

6 - Austin Dillon

6 - Jimmie Johnson

6 - Michael McDowell

6 - Jamie McMurray

6 - Regan Smith

5 - AJ Allmendinger

5 - Chase Elliott

5 - Casey Mears

5 - Brian Scott

Hamlin was penalized for speeding last weekend at Martinsville Speedway — the second race in a row he’s been caught exceeding the speed limit on pit road.

“Typically the way I shift from first to second, leaving my pit box, I usually wind out first gear,’’ Hamlin said after the race. “With first and second gear being so close together, I was over. I knew when they called it that I sped.

“It wasn’t like we were just rolling and just rolling too fast. It was just exiting my pit box. If I remember right, got jammed up by whoever was pitted in front of me. There was cars coming on the outside, so I was trying to gas to get clear of them, then back off. These shorter sections, I just didn’t have time to get it back.’’

Even with such penalties, Hamlin has scored five top-five finishes this season. He placed third after serving penalties for speeding on pit road at Auto Club Speedway, Bristol in August, the fall Talladega race and fall Martinsville. Hamlin finished fourth at Indianapolis after a pit road speeding penalty.

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