Hamlin needs wins to aid Chase push

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“I’m pretty comfortable right now, really as comfortable as I’ve been,” Hamlin said.

The adjustments to his seat certainly haven’t affected his performance. Hamlin has moved up seven spots to 24th place in the standings since his return. JGR teammate Kyle Busch is the only driver 11th to 20th in the standings with a victory.

Hamlin, who won five times last season, has 20th in sight and one of his favorite tracks up next _ Pocono Raceway. He has four career wins at Pocono.

“We’re going to have to capitalize on our money tracks,” Hamlin said. “We’re going to have to win at those race tracks, and sneak a few in here and there when we don’t expect it. We’re doing everything we can. If we come up short, then we come up short.”

Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson are the only two drivers to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup every year they’ve been eligible.

The Chase may as well have already started for Hamlin.

Not only does he need to win, he has to hope that many former Cup champions stuck in the 11th to 20th spots also don’t drive their way into Victory Lane. Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart are among the drivers who need a win to help solidify a wild-card spot.

“If you go for wins, then you’re going to run well and finish consistent,” Busch said.

With the way Hamlin has been running, he should crack the top 20.

One big win sure would help.

“We just need to win everything we can,” he said.

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Follow Dan Gelston on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APGelston

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