Welcome to From the Marbles' 2014 season previews. Here's how we think the Chase will shake out in this first year of 16 drivers and eliminations. Will we be right? Unlikely, but it's fun to think about our soothsaying possibilities until the green flag waves for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 23.
Driver: Denny Hamlin
2013 Finish: 23rd
2013 Highlight: It's the final race of the season and Hamlin's win at Homestead. It was a performance that we had to wait nine months to get from the No. 11 guys.
The 72 laps that Hamlin led were the second-most laps led of any race in 2013, and he had by far the fastest car of the final segment of the race when most everyone else's eyes were trained on Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team.
2013 Lowlight: The Homestead win was the perfect metaphor for Hamlin's season. With the back injury, he was the distant third of three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers and even when he was back, he was overshadowed with Matt Kenseth's performance and Kyle Busch's constant speed.
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