Denny Hamlin’s strategy is forcing him to fall way behind in the Chase.
By Larry McReynolds FoxSports
When you look at Denny Hamlin’s Talladega Superspeedway run, you can’t say that running well at the back was a mistake; that was their strategy. I don’t know if I like that strategy. I don’t know if I saw any team with that strategy end up with a good finish.
In terms of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup, though, what I see with Hamlin is little by little, he’s losing ground.
After the Dover race, they were 16 points back. Now they’re 25 points back. They just keep losing a little bit of ground, a little bit of ground, a little bit of ground, and they’re going to have to start making some ground up. They’re going to have to make ground up on two race teams — one in particular — that just don’t seem to be faltering.
Brad Keselowski has the points lead with a consistent string of finishes, while Jimmie Johnson is in second. Hamlin has fallen behind both of them.
The one race for Keselowski that I raise an eyebrow about will be a racetrack where the other two drivers that are on his heels, Johnson and Hamlin, are strong. That would be Martinsville Speedway. Keselowski has a 14-point lead in the standings, and that’s really a pretty decent points lead, especially when you look at a team that's had 13 top-10 finishes in its past 14 races.
Still, it’s not over.
Like Keselowski told me, we don’t race the stats book. But it’s hard to argue those numbers right now.