Championship preview: 
Denny Hamlin

Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images
Denny Hamlin turns laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hamlin will start eighth Sunday.

By Dominic Aragon
November 15, 2014


After a top-ten qualifying effort Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Denny Hamlin will begin the quest for his first title in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 with an eighth place starting position.

Hamlin, the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver eligible for the championship, talked about his race weekend thus far Friday.

“I think today kind of went like most of the year for us but better,” Hamlin said from the media center. “We weren't blazing fast for the first couple laps, but we have a car obviously that's pretty good after that, and obviously that helped us in qualifying, being that we had to run an extra run there at the end, so that helped us.

Photo by Franklin Romero/
Denny Hamlin leads Joey Logano at Phoenix International Raceway.

“And really all weekend, right from the first lap unloading, I felt like it's got the feeling that it needs to be successful on Sunday.”

Hamlin has scored six top-ten finishes during the 2014 Chase, riding a streak of three consecutive top-ten finishes this weekend.

Because of Hamlin’s 30.109 lap time in qualifying, he will make his third top-ten start in the last four races at Homestead-Miami. The driver talked post-qualifying about the confidence he has in his car this weekend.

“Last year, I knew we were going to win the race,” Hamlin said. “I knew [last year] in practice we were going to win the race, and my car feels equally as good this time around.”

In nine races at the speedway, Hamlin has finished inside the top-ten five times including two wins in 2009 and 2013.

Will Denny Hamlin win the 2014 Sprint Cup championship?
Poll Maker