Denny Hamlin posted the second fastest speed in time trials among the Chase contenders. His lap of 179.348 mph will line the No. 11 up eighth.
Denny Hamlin entered the Quicken Loans 500k as the co-points’ leader and needed only to finish 11th or better to advance to the Chase. After winning the pole he led early, which meant he had to finish only 12th or better. Hamlin overcame a lost lap during the middle stages of the race and drove to fifth in the final laps. He will advance to the Final Four.
Denny Hamlin posted a speed of 142.113 mph in the second and final round of qualification. He will lead the field to green and is in the best spot to earn a bonus point for leading the first lap.
If Denny Hamlin finishes 11th or better at Phoenix, he will advance to the final round of the championship. His last four attempts on unrestricted speedways this have all been 10th or better.
Statistically, Texas Motor Speedway is one of Denny Hamlin’s best tracks, but he earned only one top-10 there in his last six races. He finished 10th in the AAA Texas 500 to add another to his total.
In terms of average finishes, Texas is Denny Hamlin’s fifth-best track, but fantasy owners might be a little concerned about his 20th-place start. That is Hamlin’s worst qualification effort in his past five races.
Denny Hamlin spent most of the Goody's 500 contending for the lead, but he faded in the closing laps. Despite earning the best average running position of the afternoon (4.90), he finished eighth.
Denny Hamlin finished sixth or better in nine consecutive races from 2006 through 2010, but his efforts have fallen off in recent attempts. Only three of his last six attempts have resulted in top-10s.
Last week at Charlotte, Denny Hamlin’s jackman Nate Bolling tore his right tricep. After undergoing surgery mid-week, he is out for the remainder of the season. The No. 11 team will turn to backup jackman Kenneth Purcell.
Denny Hamlin has a perfect record of top-10s on plate tracks this season. He is the only driver with three such finishes at Talladega and in Daytona’s two races.
Denny Hamlin smelled smoke and saw sparks under his dash at the halfway point of the Hollywood Casino 400. He was told to ride it out until the car quit, but it never did and he finished seventh at Kansas.
Denny Hamlin struggled in both practice and qualification at Kansas on Friday. His fastest lap in the first practice session for the Hollywood Casino 400 was 26th and he qualified in almost the exact same position.
Denny Hamlin has not been running well on the courses that are typically kind to him. He struggled in his last two attempts on short, flat tracks, but earned top-15s at Chicagoland and Dover.
Denny Hamlin has been erratic at Dover in recent years. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, he has earned only two top-15s in seven starts and averaged a result of 17th on this track.