Danny Hamlin firmly insists "not over" after a critical mistake last week put the winner in the Dayton 500 on the brink of elimination from NASCAR's championship race.
He remained undisclosed, confident of his chances of winning the ISM Raceway on Sunday and saving his season with a win that would give him an automatic draw in the Final Four.
He called out his blow and delivered.
Hamlin scored his first place in the 2014 championship field with a win, a victory that eliminated NASCAR champion Joey Logano from the playoffs and gave Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota three slots in next week's Homestead-Miami decision Speedway.
"I try not to invest much in it," Hamlin said. "There is still work to be done. It does not guarantee a championship. It gives us a chance. Live to fight another day. That's all you can ask."
Hamlin, one of the favorites to win the title, stood up. against elimination after returning to Texas last week but taking control and winning essentially in the bag until a caution was gained with nine laps remaining last restart.
Hamlin, who was appalled at the restart of the entire race, hit his steering wheel with anger as the yellow flag swung. His Joe Gibbs Racing team made the unusual call to pick up just two tires – the same strategy as contender Ryan Blainy – and they both ran side by side for a three-lap restart.
Finally Hamlin got a decent restart, went into the advance and Gibbs teammate Kyle Bush crossed Blaine to put a buffer between the two.
Hamlin then traveled to his sixth victory of the season and punched the air with his fist in his car when he crossed the finish line. He jumped into the arms of his waiting crew, who promised earlier on Sunday to do his best to make the champion
"This racing team works so hard all year long. They deserve to be there," Hamlin said about my crew number 11. "I put them in a bad hole last week. I told them at the meeting today and said, 'I'll give everything I have to correct the mistake I made last week.' That's all I have."
Hamlin to compete with teammates Gibbs Bush and Martin Trux Jr., as well as Kevin Harvick from Stuart-Haa with Championship racing. Gibbs, winner of 18 races this season, and Toyota have three of the slots in the final four.
"I feel like we're all here because we worked together," Truex said.
Chevrolet will not be introduced for the third consecutive season, and Harvick is competing with Ford. Winning the Hamlin Toyota Manufacturers Championship.
Truex won the title for 2018, Busch won in 2015 and Harvick in 2014. All three competed for the championship last season against Logano, who won the finals to win the title of three drivers dominating the season This year's Final Four deserves equal place in their finals – the champion had to win the Homestead race to claim the title each year as the elimination format debuted in 2014.
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Hamlin never won a championship, but there were chances in 2010 and 2014, but there were disappointing races – the decision not to take tires after a late caution led Hamlin from leading up to a dispute in the race in 2014.
"Danny has not won a championship, so you can imagine how difficult it will be. go for it, "Gibbs said.
Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Blaine and Logano were eliminated. Logano was looking for a chance to bring him back to the title, but there was a mechanical problem early in the final leg that dropped him deep into the field.
"No idea. Adjusting the air pressure made him a winning car so he couldn't stay in the lead lap. That sounds ridiculous," Logano said. "We will live. Everything will be fine. We are still fortunate to be here and grateful to do what we love."
ELIOT'S DRIVING ROUND
Elliott's championship chances ended with a crash in the final phase,
The most popular NASCAR driver had a mechanical problem in Martinsville, crash last week in Texas, crash last week that he had a tire problem that made him spin.
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"Just the continuation of our first two weeks," Elliott said. "I feel like we were in a good position to work solidly. I'm not sure why we got the tire down. I think that's exactly what happened. The last three weeks have been rough."
Championship Sunday – the decisive final of Homestead-Miami Speedway, the last time the track will host the final. Logano is a clear winner in the race.
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