Commentary

Martinsville went well, so hopefully Atlanta will go even better

Martinsville went well for Denny Hamlin. He writes in his diary that this hopefully means the second half of the Chase will go better for him than the first.

Updated: October 25, 2008, 6:22 PM ET
By Denny Hamlin

Denny HamlinAP Photo/Jim R.BoundsThings went well for Denny Hamlin at Martinsville. He's hoping that continues into Atlanta and on to Texas.

It felt good to get back to Martinsville last weekend and run well.

Earlier in the season, Martinsville helped get us pointed in the right direction, so I am hoping it's the same this time around. This FedEx team would have liked to race for the win there at the end, but Jimmie Johnson was just too strong -- those Hendrick cars were really strong.

I was talking to Jeff Gordon after the race, and we were both really good at either end of the run, him at the beginning and me at the end of the run, but not as good throughout as Jimmie. They were really hooked up, but that's no surprise at Martinsville -- or during the Chase.

Getting a top-5 was a big step for us with the way our Chase has gone so far. We really needed a good run to get us pointed in the right direction heading into this second half of the Chase. We feel like we should always be running toward the front. We pride ourselves on that.

There's still time to work our way up in the points -- I think seventh or eighth is a good goal for us now.

Before I forget about it, I want to remind everyone to check out the slow-things auction on fedexracing.com. It runs through the weekend, and it's definitely the best chance you'll ever have of owning your own No. 11 FedEx car.

All the proceeds from the car auction and all the items auctioned off go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital … a cool gift for a great cause. I think everyone should check it out.

We're in Atlanta this weekend and it rained again, so qualifying was cancelled. Again.

We'll start 11th on Sunday, which isn't too bad at Atlanta. I am also running in the truck race this weekend in addition to the Cup race, so it will be good to get on the track and turn some laps.

I hardly ever race in the truck series, and when I do it's usually only at Martinsville, so this should be a much different experience. This truck race at Atlanta is one of my favorite truck races of the season, so I can't wait to get in the No. 15 and see what I can do.

For all you fans living in Memphis or planning on tuning in for the Nationwide race this weekend, keep an eye out for the No. 20 car that Joey Logano is running at Memphis. FedEx is represented on the quarter panel for all the hometown fans, so hopefully we can get two FedEx cars to Victory Lane.

After this week we head to Texas, where I'm hoping that we keep a good streak going.

Denny Hamlin drives the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry. He shares his weekly thoughts on and off the track with ESPN.com readers with the help of writer Angelique S. Chengelis.