Denny Hamlin Is Feeling The Playoff Pressure

Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin is right to be concerned, but he also knows he can cure his anxiety with a couple of trips to Victory Lane.

Entering Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Hamlin is eighth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, comfortably inside the cutoff for the Playoffs.

But Hamlin has only two Playoff points to his credit, the result of a pair of stage wins, while four drivers—Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer—already have accumulated double-digit Playoff points, which Busch leading the way with 30.

To Hamlin, that engenders an urgency to increase his Playoff point total over the next nine races.

“Now, when your competitors are kind of racking up points here and there, it gives you that playoff feel really throughout the entire regular season, and that’s what we aimed for, right?” Hamlin said. “So I think that it’s overall working.

“With just a few guys logging a bunch of points right now, I think it makes more good cars in danger of missing the cut early on one of these cutoff races. You’ve got to be aware of that and make sure you don’t take these early rounds for granted, even though you know, based on speed, you should be fine.”


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