Driver foresaw his Daytona win when he was 7

Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 20:46:42-05

Remember those writing assignments in elementary school? You know -- the ones where you have to write about one of your life goals in great detail?

Well, NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin had such an assignment 28 years ago -- and his mother decided to hold on to it.

"My wish is to win the Daytona 500,"  7-year-old Denny wrote. "If I won the Daytona 500, I would like it to come true on February 17, 1998. My car would be red, white, blue and gold. Just like Bill Elliott's car."

Unfortunately, Hamlin didn't come close to attaining any of those goals -- well, except for the whole winning the Daytona 500 part, which he fulfilled less than two weeks ago by 0.01 seconds.

"We made it come true this year. Even though it was 18 years late or so, we still got it done," Hamlin told ABC15.

The 35-year-old Tampa native had knocked on the door of a Daytona victory in each of the previous two years -- and his photo-finish victory over Martin Truex Jr. was the closest in the history of the race.

"It's amazing 30 years later it came full circle. I can't believe it came true," Hamlin said. "It was kind of a pipe dream back then when I was seven."

So... what other blasts from the past has Hamlin's mother kept from his childhood?

"She keeps everything," Hamlin said. "You never know what else is going to pop up here or there. I know she's got some report cards and everything that I assume she just keeps private."