Denny Hamlin scores another quiet top 10

When Denny Hamlin finds some short-run speed, he’ll be dangerous.

Hamlin overcame a pit road snafu to finish sixth in Sunday’s Auto Club 400, lowering his average finish through five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races to 6.8. Hamlin is also sixth in the series standings after Sunday’s race.

But his team still has work to do to contend with the fastest cars in the series.

“We just had a mistake on our pit stop,” Hamlin said. “I flew through my box again. Once I got that remedied, it looked like were some somewhere around a fourth- or fifth-place car-even a third-place at times. In the long run, we were exceptional, but we were just too slow on the short run to keep up.

“Those guys would pull seven seconds on us, and we’d maintain after that and gain a little. We were letting these guys stretch a little on us too much in the short run. Overall a good day for our FedEx Camry, but we wanted to get a top five there. We were really in it there at the end of the race with the leaders, but we didn’t have enough time.”