Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Family Dedication Lifts Hamlin; Parents Make Financial Sacrifices to Fund Son's Now-Successful Career

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Family Dedication Lifts Hamlin; Parents Make Financial Sacrifices to Fund Son's Now-Successful Career

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Dennis and Mary Lou Hamlin always believed that their son, Denny, would be a race-car driver, so they spent every dime they had on building his career.

They buried themselves in debt and lived on the brink of bankruptcy. They sold their cars and mortgaged their home two and three times. They skipped meals and bill payments.

Their risk is finally paying a reward.

Denny Hamlin, who will turn 26 next week, has gone from local short tracks to the Busch Series and now to Nextel Cup Series title contention in three years. Now he's paying the bills.

"It's his turn now," Mary Lou Hamlin said.

Denny Hamlin made the Nextel Cup playoffs with two victories and a run of seven top-10 finishes in the last eight races before the Chase started. That eliminated more-accomplished drivers such as defending series champion Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman from contention.

Hamlin has stayed under the radar throughout the Chase. He has five top-10 finishes in eight events, and unlike everyone else, he hasn't experienced a disastrous race. He's fourth in the standings entering Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, just 80 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

The Cup championship is worth more than $6 million in awards and bonuses, and it easily would pay back Hamlin's parents for a lifetime of sacrifice and dedication.

It wouldn't replace the 1932 Ford hot rod, '57 Chevy or the '67 Rally Sport convertible that his parents sold to finance the first years of Hamlin's racing career, but it would be a start.

It wouldn't erase the memories of overhearing his parents quarrel about money, but it would make the family's future a lot less stressful.

And it would help pay off all the mortgages, with enough left over to build Hamlin's parents the home of their dreams.

"It's good that this finally gets to pay off for them now," Hamlin said. "It's good to see they're getting their enjoyment out of watching me. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.