Denny Hamlin’s hood flew off early in the Watkins Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup race and gave us the best image of the year so far: a crew member running through the pits with a replacement hood. Run for it, dude. Run like your life depends on it.

Hamlin’s hood pins failed after he made contact with another car out on track, sending his hood up and over. Surprisingly, he was able to stay on the lead lap for a while because the same mechanisms that allow the hood to pop up in spins and other dire situations made the hood flop up and over where Hamlin could still see out of the windshield.

All good things must come to an end, however. Hamlin was black flagged and had to come in to remove the giant flying chunk of potential debris (which stayed on at over 140 mph!), and that’s when our hero hauled it to retrieve a new hood.

This crew man is our new hero. Not for brute strength, lightning quick wheel gun draws, or anything else, but for doing whatever it takes to get his team back on track.

“Adversity makes us stronger.” Preach, number 11 crew. Preach. Now go out there, and stick your racing boot firmly in the rump of a Boot-less Watkins Glen.

All thanks to the hustling hood guy. Our hero.

This isn’t the first time this season Hamlin’s hood has fallen off. Hamlin also lost his hood at Indianapolis Motor Speedway just sixteen days ago. Insert tin-foil-hat conspiracy theories of lightened front-end components here, or don’t. (Please don’t.)


Contact the author at stef.schrader@jalopnik.com.