Hamlin confident in interim crew chief Wheeler

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LONG POND, Pa. (AP) – Denny Hamlin says he’ll use this week’s suspension of his crew chief as motivation to prove his car can go fast "no matter what."

Joe Gibbs Racing crew chief Darian Grubb and car Wesley Sherrill were both suspended through the Sept. 6 race at Richmond. Grubb, the crew chief, was also fined $125,000. Team engineer Mike Wheeler will fill in as the crew chief.

It strips Hamlin of two vital crew members during the stretch of the season he would be putting the finishing touches on preparations for NASCAR’s title-deciding, 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Speaking Friday at Pocono Raceway, Hamlin says the punishment could be a positive because Grubb can spend more time at the shop working on cars.

Hamlin says of Wheeler: "I’m pretty confident that he’s going to do a good job and really I’m not concerned with any of his experience with handling people."

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He's from Alabama, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!