Is time running out for Denny Hamlin?
Hamlin finds himself in a precarious position. Hamlin missed four NASCAR Sprint Cup races earlier this year after suffering a fractured vertebra in a March 24 crash at Auto Club Speedway. Now, with 12 races remaining before NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup, Hamlin is 25th in the standings -- and having difficulty making up ground.
Despite finishing eighth on Sunday at Pocono Raceway, he is still 110 points outside of the top 10 drivers, the group that will lock into the Chase after the season's 26th race. That's more than two full races.
Although Hamlin gained one position in the standings, he fell two more points behind 20th place, now held by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Drivers from 11th to 20th in the standings are eligible for two wild-card spots awarded to the drivers outside the top 10 but with the most wins.
That top-20 goal -- Hamlin's easiest entry into securing a Chase berth -- remains a moving target, and Hamlin's disappointment during t...