Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 9/3/12

CONCORD, NC - OCTOBER 16: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 16, 2009 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Intensity ramps up. Tension mounts. Second-guessing begins. But not for Denny Hamlin. The driver known to be hard on himself, to dissect past racing moments and to painfully relive the setbacks from time to time has been vanquished to the past. Nowadays a confident, renewed -- and on-fire -- version of Hamlin strides into the track. And into Victory Lane. Taking the checkered flag for the fourth time this season with a late rally Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, is Hamlin making a championship-sized statement to the competition? "I don't say anything -- wins are all that matter," he said shortly after his win. He's right. Perhaps NASCAR has a new closer. Hamlin not only masterfully steals the win in the final laps these days, but his back-to-back victories vault him into the top spot when the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins following next Saturday night's race at Richmond. Hamlin can now do no worse than end up in a mathematical tie for the points lead when the standing...
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