Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 21st. Will make the Chase as a result of his Talladega win.

WATKINS GLEN RECORD: Four top-10 finishes in eight starts.

LOOKING AHEAD: All four of Hamlin's top-10 finishes at Watkins Glen came in his first four starts at the road course. His luck in recent years has been "all bad. But hopefully we will turn things around this weekend," said Hamlin. "Kyle (Busch, his teammate) has been real good at the Glen. So we know the JGR cars can run up front. We just need our luck to turn around at that place."

LOOKING BACK: Despite getting sideways to trigger a 13-car accident, Hamlin was able to rally in the final 20 laps to finish ninth at Pocono. It was the first race for interim crew chief Mike Wheeler as Darien Grubb begins his six-race suspension for the rules violation discovered after the Indianapolis race. "He (Wheeler) did a really good job," said Hamlin. "Good communication and we were on the same strategy as far as what I was thinking and what he was thinking, so that was good. Really pretty seamless for the most part."

ETC.: When asked to describe that happened that got him sideways on lap 117 at Pocono to trigger the multi-car wreck, Hamlin replied, "I was in the middle lane and I got stuck three-wide. Just the guys getting runs and guys that can accelerate much faster than what we can and so that put me three-wide in the middle. The 15 (Clint Bowyer) was right on my door and it sucked me around and I was just hanging on at that point and I think it was mayhem from everyone checking up from behind. Like I said, I just got sucked around."