CONCORD, N.C. - Denny Hamlin is over last week's debacle at Auto Club Speedway.
He just wishes everybody else was, too.
Hamlin likely saw his bid for his first NASCAR title evaporate with 60 laps to go when the pole-sitter mistakenly tried to cut off a hard-charging Juan Pablo Montoya on a double-file restart. He didn't have enough room and his No. 11 Toyota ended up spinning into the pit road barrier.
The crash sent him to a 37th-place finish and dropped him from sixth to ninth in the Chase for the Championship heading into today's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Hamlin made no excuses for the crash, blaming himself for the move that ended what had been a pretty steady run during NASCAR's playoffs.
"I was doing everything I could and just bit myself," Hamlin said. "It's just frustrates you for about two days and then you get over it and then you hear someone say, 'Hey, man, sorry about last weekend.' Then you're like, 'Well, I forgot about it until you said something.' "
The wreck capped a particularly rough weekend for Hamlin. He was subbing for a sick Kyle Busch in the Nationwide race last Saturday when he got stuck between Brad Keselowski and Greg Biffle. The ensuing wreck ended his day early and allowed Carl Edwards to take a bite out of Busch's Nationwide points lead.
Hamlin trails Jimmie Johnson by 219 points with six races left in the season. He's not quite ready to say he's out of it, but knows finishing in the top five may be a more realistic goal.
"The way this format is, the way this points system is, your (wins) don't help you as much as the losses kill you, especially racing against that many guys," he said. "It was a little bit easier when there were 10 guys. You could make up a little bit of ground and you're not racing those two extra guys. When they included all those extra guys in the Chase and now the competition level of the Chase and the guys running as well as they are, it's just going to be extremely hard to make up any points."
Bristol speedway doesn't have to pay $397K tax. A judge in Tennessee has ruled Bristol Motor Speedway does not have to pay $397,000 in taxes for broadcast revenue it made on NASCAR races.
The speedway challenged the assessment last year, claiming the state Department of Revenue was illegally taxing the track by claiming NASCAR was paying the track for a service.
Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle in Nashville agreed in an order unsealed Friday that the television rights are intangible and not taxable.