PIR's flat, fast 1-mile oval right in Hamlin's wheelhouse

Denny Hamlin doesn't have a lot to race for as far as the Chase is concerned. But putting together a couple of strong runs would be a good way to end the season, he writes in his diary.

Updated: November 7, 2008, 7:23 PM ET
By Denny Hamlin

Phoenix is one of the more unique tracks we visit, and it's a favorite of mine. I made my first start here back in the fall of 2005, and even though I had only been in a Cup car a handful of times, I won my first pole here that weekend.

Even though I didn't know it then, to have a success like that so early in your career is pretty rare, and it seems like every time I come back here I always think about winning that pole and think, "Man, if I was able to do it then when I ...

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