Found September 16, 2012 on
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Denny Hamlin, the top seed entering this year's Chase, dropped from the top spot in the standings after running out of fuel late in Sunday's race.
After spending most of the afternoon in the top five, Hamlin coasted across the finish line in 16th place and fell into a tie for fourth in the Chase standings, 15 points behind Keselowski.
"We didn't get it all the way full on the last stop," Hamlin said after the race. "(Crew chief) Darian (Grubb) said we made an adjustment instead of putting (a full complement of) fuel in the car—and you have to have fuel to finish."
Knowing he was short, Hamlin tired to conserve fuel during the final green-flag run.
"Bad thing is, I felt like we could have run to third right there," Hamlin said. "I just was having to run so slow to keep from running out of fuel, and we still ran out."
Though the first Chase race brought a miscue, Hamlin feels he's still in the mix for the title.
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For Denny Hamlin, leading the points entering the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship is nothing new.
Hamlin was in the same position in 2010. He had earned the most wins and when the points were recalculated, Hamlin entered NASCAR's version of the playoffs on top.
What has changed?
"I'm two years older and I have a baby on the way -- that's about it...
While Brad Keselowski established himself as the forerunner in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup with his win at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon struggled through the first race in NASCAR's playoffs.
Hamlin had the points lead when he entered the weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, but his time at the top was short-lived.
When you look at the opening Chase for the Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway last Sunday, several title contenders had problems.
Jeff Gordon crashed, Matt Kenseth had a shock fall off and Denny Hamlin ran out of fuel on the final lap. When you look at drivers, especially Jeff Gordon - I don't know that I would throw Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth into this category yet...
You know folks, I've said this before and I'm going to say it again - but this time let's use some logical deduction: Drivers had 26 races to earn a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Some drivers have stormed into the Chase - Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart. Those guys have had strong performances for the most part and have won the most races, so they are...
Saturday will be driver Drew Herring’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series start of the 2012 season. The 25-year-old Benson, N.C. native has eight Nationwide Series starts under his belt with a career best finish of seventh at Nashville Superspeedway in July 2011. This weekend will be Herring’s first time competing on Kentucky Speedway’s 1.5 mile oval.
BUSY MONTH BEHIND THE WHEEL...