Joe Gibbs Racing began the Chase as one of the favorites. Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, however the three cars all suffered various issues that have at least one driver hanging on to the Chase and one on the outside looking in as the cutoff for the top 12 looms.
The trouble began early for Denny Hamlin. Hamlin took the lead off pit road after a competition caution on lap 35. He kept the lead until lap 71 when Kevin Harvick passed him. On lap 96, Hamlin’s crew called him back in for a green flag stop reporting that he needed fuel. As it turned out, the fuel filler on his Toyota needed replaced and Hamlin lost four laps and restarted 41st.
“I’m not sure what it is,” Hamlin said. “Couldn’t get fuel in it and that pretty much set the tone for the rest of our day. Gosh, you just can’t have any mistakes in this three race deal — from the driver, from the crew, the team — no one can really make a mistake in three races and unfortunately no one did, it’s just we had a mechanical failure that really hasn’t bitten us in a while.” MORE>>>