Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 23rd in Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Bristol Night Race.
All of those drivers would have given anything to trade their final results for a third-place showing like Denny Hamlin came away with.
But Hamlin? He wasn’t so sure whether to look at his finish as satisfying or disappointing.
“Half and half,” Hamlin replied.
Something was missing for him in the race, and it was difficulty on restarts that may have kept him from a win.
“With the track position, we definitely could have held those guys off,” Hamlin said. “We caught them a little bit in that last run, but I restarted on the bottom so many times that it’s one of those weekends where I would love that cone rule where you can pick what lane you want to go in on restarts.
“I’d be willing to start 12th on the outside versus third on the inside. It’s just I got killed on restarts all day, but we did a really good job of bouncing back and good finish.”