Denny Hamlin

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Hamlin's bold statement, split-screen commercials and rating Chicago
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<p> Dustin Long and the Backseat Drivers Fan Council discuss Denny Hamlin's bold New Hampshire prediction, ESPN's split-screen commercial coverage, NASCAR start times and the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.</p>
2012

Round one is over in the Chase but it already has produced many changes on and off the track for fans. Races are starting later, fans are seeing more of it and there’s a new points leader with the former points leader saying he’ll win this weekend. Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council examine these and other issues this week.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Keselowski mind-games his way to the top
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<p> Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson slug it at the top of Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Brad Keselowski   What has kept Keselowski and his team near the top of the Horsepower Rankings all season is the ability to win on most any style of track. To come out connecting in the Chase is big.

2. Jimmie Johnson   Certainly, an argument could be made for Johnson to be No. 1. However, he got beat in a race he seemed to have in hand. Don’t worry about this bunch, though — they’ll get theirs in the coming weeks.

Brad Keselowski beats Jimmie Johnson in slugfest at Chicagoland Speedway

Round One to Keselowski
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<p> Brad Keselowski beat Jimmie Johnson in NASCAR's GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.</p>
2012

If Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team are the Muhammad Ali of NASCAR — the heavyweight that wins with both sheer power and poise — Brad Keselowski and his No. 2 Penske Racing bunch are the sport’s Sugar Ray Leonard. Not necessarily graced with the resources enjoyed by Johnson, Keselowski wins with smarts and guile — and a sweeping uppercut that comes, seemingly, from nowhere.

NASCAR Chase for the Championship Preview

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Handicapping the Chase and the year's biggest surprises
<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council talks about Chase favorites, the racing at Richmond, the season's biggest surprises and discuss whether NASCAR drivers "give it their all" each and every race.</p>
2012

NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship is here and with it comes the question of who will win it. Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council tackle that question and more, including what is the biggest surprise this year and if they think drivers give their best effort every race. Here’s what the Backseat Drivers Fan Council had to say about those issues and more.


Who will win the Chase?

Rankings NASCAR's Chase for the Championship Performances

The Best and Worst of the Chase
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Vito Pugliese ranks NASCAR's eight Chase for the Championship playoff performances. From the unbelievable to the forgettable, they're all here.</p>
2012

In 2003, Matt Kenseth became the final Winston Cup Champion in less-than-dazzling fashion. He won all of one of 36 races while posting 24 top 10s for an average finishing position of 10.2. He clinched the title by merely starting the second to last race of the year at Rockingham. After promptly blowing an engine and finishing dead last, he ended the year 90 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson, and 207 ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Hamlin, Johnson, Keselowski lead field into Chase
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<p> As NASCAR's regular season comes to a close, Denny Hamlin edges by Jimmie Johnson to take the top spot in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Denny Hamlin   Hamlin slips ahead of Jimmie Johnson thanks to having the strongest car for a third consecutive week (despite the fact he didn’t win). He also gets a hat tip for those four regular season victories. Last week: 2

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Richmond

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 400
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at fantasy NASCAR favorites and darkhorses for Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond International Raceway.</p>
2012

After 25 races, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season will roll into Richmond International Raceway for the final event before the 12-driver Chase field is set. While the top 10 is essentially a lock, the race for the wild card positions is all about wins, with eight drivers still eligible for the two spots.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

NASCAR's cautions, Hamlin's title hopes and Stewart's revenge
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<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council talks about NASCAR debris cautions, Denny Hamlin's Chase expectations, the Tony Stewart/Matt Kenseth beef and racing in Atlanta.</p>
2012

Trust and belief are core issues the Backseat Drivers Fan Council delves into this week. Members state how much they trust NASCAR in regards to debris cautions. Belief centers on what Fan Council members think about the title chances of Denny Hamlin, who has a series-high four wins, including the last two races. Belief also centers on what they think of Tony Stewart’s various comments last week toward Matt Kenseth and if Stewart will seek revenge. Here’s what members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council had to say on those topics and more.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Hamlin, Johnson, Keselowski separate from the pack
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<p> Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski challenge Jimmie Johnson for the top spot in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson  Denny Hamlin may be the hottest driver on the Cup circuit at the moment, but Johnson’s team will still be the one everyone keeps an eye on going into the Chase.

2. Denny Hamlin  Became the first driver since Tony Stewart in last season’s playoffs to score consecutive wins on the Cup circuit, with victories at Bristol and Atlanta. This is not the Denny Hamlin of 2011, folks.

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