NASCAR

Hamlin continues to fall behind

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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

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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.

OUT OF CONTROL

Things got out of hand - again - at Talladega. PHOTOS.

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.

Tagged: Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski

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