LOUDON, N.H. — First, Denny Hamlin ran away from the field. Then he ran away from a lobster.
Hamlin, who held a wide lead late in Sunday’s Overton’s 301 before fending off a late rush by Kyle Larson, snapped Joe Gibbs Racing’s winless streak with his victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. As is customary for winners here, Hamlin was presented with his reward: a massive New England lobster.
We’re not going to accuse Hamlin of being afraid of lobsters, but let’s just say he seemed more excited about the win itself than his living trophy.
“I have a lobster phobia,” Hamlin said. “I don’t know why. I just can’t touch one, look at it. I can’t eat dinner if somebody at the table is having one. If it were up to me, you’d put it back in the water and let it live.”
Hamlin has won a number of cool trophies in his racing career, including a grandfather clock at Martinsville Speedway and a replica of the Harley J. Earl Trophy for winning the Daytona 500. But none have seemingly struck as much fear into the heart of the 36-year-old driver as the clawed crustacean did Sunday.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images