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NASCAR Sprint Cup: Why Denny Hamlin is Now in the Championship Driver’s Seat

For the first time since the Chase for the Sprint Cup was instituted, playing it safe is not an option. Just ask Denny Hamlin. At least that's his view of things. When it came down to a final restart, with Matt Kenseth getting the lead initially, Hamlin could have settled for second place and a decent points day at Texas. Instead, he made a risky crossover move in turn two to go for the win. Going into Phoenix, there are 59 points separating the top three spots in the Chase, with Kevin Harvick in third place. Jimmie Johnson finds himself on the outside looking in, 33 points out of the lead.

With two races remaining until the crown is awarded, Johnson would have to do something that has only been done a couple of other times in NASCA...

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