Denny Hamlin waits in the garage area during practice for the 2023 Daytona 500
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Denny Hamlin Says He Has "PTSD" From Last Year's Las Vegas Race

It should come as no surprise to most NASCAR fans that the sport of professional stock car racing is an extremely mental game. Of course, it always helps to have the best team, the best pit crew and chief, and the best manufacturer. But, a driver's mentality and attitude going into a race can make or break them on the track. That's something that Denny Hamlin is going to be keenly aware of when the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.

The 42-year-old driver for Joe Gibbs Racing has a complicated relationship with the Vegas track, and that topic came up during a recent episode of the Actions Detrimental podcast, when Hamlin's co-host Jared reminded him how badly he used to hate racing in Vegas.

"I did," Hamlin admitted. "I used to hate that racetrack because I was so bad at it."

If he hopes to overcome his hatred for Cup competition in Las Vegas, he'll have to look past his performance there last March. Despite leading for 31 laps in the Cup race, a costly decision with about 55 laps to go ended Hamlin's day in the most soul-crushing of fashions. He ultimately placed 32nd.

WATCH: Denny Hamlin Spins Out at 2022 Las Vegas Race

During the podcast episode, Hamlin went on to recall still having "PTSD" from last year's race and briefly touched on what went wrong that day.

"I have PTSD looking back at the race one year ago," Hamlin said. "Because I had a very very fast car and I missed shift. Because I forgot that it's not an H-pattern anymore. So, I remember coming off pit road and going from second to first, because I thought I had to go up for the third. And it was over."

Still, Denny is hopeful heading into this year's March race, saying that his crew chief Chris Gabehart and the rest of his team "have found something that has tickled my fancy at that racetrack." Who's to say what that "something" is, but hopefully for Hamlin, it'll be enough to fix his typical springtime struggles in Sin City.

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