Though Denny Hamlin avoided the wrecks that accounted for a track-record 14 cautions on Sunday, he nevertheless experienced his share of bad luck.
Twice Hamlin was trapped a lap down when cautions interrupted cycles of green-flag pit stops, and for most of his runs in Sunday’s race, Hamlin was forced to conserve fuel.
“Just never got a chance to race,” lamented Hamlin, who came home 13th and remained third in the Chase standings, but lost five points to leader Brad Keselowski and now trails by 20. “Every run, I had to save fuel or get caught by a caution and then go a lap down, get a wave-around.
“We had good track position (starting ninth). I drove to the top five on the first run, and then we took four (tires) and the entire field took two and put us in the back of the pack. We were no better than the back-markers at that point.”