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 as drivers were about to be introduced, Hamlin Tweeted, "IT'S OFFICIAL. I've signed an extension with (at)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.
06/28/12 Joe Gibbs Racing could have a new Sprint Cup contract to announce within the next week, and it's not the driver everyone has been talking about. #11-Denny Hamlin is in final negotiations with JGR and sponsor FedEx on an extension of his deal, which runs through the 2013 season. "I think I'm up at the end of next year, but I know where my future is, and that's at Gibbs," Hamlin told USA Today Sports on Wednesday.
"FedEx knows who they want driving their car. We typically try to do our deals together as a partnership, because that's what it is between the three of us. As long as FedEx likes me, I know I want to be with Gibbs. We're to all working together to solidify that for years to come. I think it'll be done within a week. Everything but the ink on the paper is pretty much done. Everything is pretty much locked in, and we know where we're going to be for the foreseeable future." USA Today
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