Denny Hamlin will not test NASCAR’s free-agent market, agreeing Saturday to a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Hamlin announced the extension on Twitter before Saturday night’s race at Kentucky Speedway. Terms of his extension were not released, but he locked up a new deal almost 15 months before his current contract with JGR was set to expire.
In a message posted just before the race, Hamlin tweeted, “IT’S OFFICIAL. I’ve signed an extension with @JoeGibbsRacing. Happy to know where my future is. Excited for tonight and beyond with my team.”
Hamlin told The Associated Press earlier this week he saw no reason to look around at other race teams, in part because of his stability at JGR and with sponsor FedEx. The economy has changed dramatically since Hamlin’s 2005 tryout with JGR, but FedEx hasn’t reduced its commitment to the team or the driver.
FedEx sponsors 36 of the 38 Sprint Cup Series races.
“I consider myself very lucky to be with a team and a sponsor that want me,” he said this week. “You look around the garage and guys can’t get rides because of sponsorship problems, or they’ve taken pay cuts, or they aren’t as competitive as they could be because the budget isn’t there. I’ve got a great situation, and I don’t see how changing teams could get any better.”
Hamlin also believes there isn’t a better team out there for him.
“I want to win races and championships. I don’t want to collect a bigger check and not be able to win trophies at the same time,” he said. “I don’t see anything out there that wouldn’t be a step down, or a lateral move. I’m happy at JGR, and didn’t see any reason not to get a deal done right now.”