The 33-year-old driver has now made the Chase eight times in his nine full-time seasons in the Cup Series.
Scoring six top-five’s and 11 top-ten finishes in the regular season, Hamlin’s teammates both made the Chase, making it the second consecutive year all Joe Gibbs Racing cars have made the playoffs.
Hamlin spoke with ESPN Saturday night post-race from Richmond about his team’s outlook on the Chase. Saying his pit crew is the No. 11 team’s strength, he seemed to be ready to make a championship run in 2014.
“We’ve got a lot of the pieces of the puzzle put together for a championship run,” Hamlin said. “There’s a lot of things that go into a championship run, and we’re missing a couple of the very important pieces, and that’s speed.”
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Denny Hamlin turns laps at Daytona International Speedway in February.
The Chesterfield, Virginia native has won at six of the tracks on the Chase schedule.
Hamlin’s best performance in the Chase was 2010. Scoring eight wins, Hamlin lost the championship lead in the season finale, finishing runner-up in points to Jimmie Johnson.