Like the Babe at Wrigley, Hamlin called his shot. Like Joe Willie before the Super Bowl, Hamlin told everyone he would win.
When Hamlin talks, you better listen. The man means business. And this race, the best Pocono event in years, meant a little more.
Hamlin earned his first victory of the season Monday at Pocono in one of the most emotional moments of his career, only a few days after his grandmother passed away.
Tears flowed as Hamlin sat in Victory Lane when the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 was over. He found it difficult to speak afterward.
"We've come close in a lot races this year and come up short," Hamlin said as the TV cameras rolled. "But we had some angels with us today."
Angels and total confidence.
Hamlin never doubted he could take the checkered flag in the No. 11 Toyota. He walked in the media center Friday morning and said, "I expect to win this race."