Hamlin winning early, often in playoffs

(AP Photo/Steve Marcus)

LAS VEGAS (AP) Denny Hamlin will reach the third round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs next month having faced the make-or-break pressure of the postseason only twice.

Ending the first race of each postseason round in victory lane can do wonders for the blood pressure of a driver and his team, because every winner clinches a spot in the following round.

Hamlin won three weeks ago at Darlington to open the playoffs, and then he did it again Sunday night at Las Vegas in the second-round opener. He is the first driver to win the first race in each of the first two rounds since NASCAR introduced this playoff format in 2014.

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NASCAR Schedule
NASCAR CupYellaWood 500Oct. 311:00 PT12:00 MT1:00 CT2:00 ET14:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST12:00 CST1:00 EST22:00 UAE12:00 CT19:00 CET15:00 BRT TV: NBC
XFINITYSparks 300 at TalladegaOct. 21:30 PT2:30 MT3:30 CT4:30 ET16:30 ET20:30 GMT4:30 北京时间1:30 MST2:30 CST3:30 EST0:30 UAE (+1)2:30 CT21:30 CET17:30 BRT TV: NBCSN
Gander RV & Outdoors TruckChevrolet Silverado 250Oct. 210:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET13:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST11:00 CST12:00 EST21:00 UAE11:00 CT18:00 CET14:00 BRT TV: FS1
NASCAR Leaders: Points
RankDriverPointsWins
1 K.Larson 3096 6
2 D.Hamlin 3082 2
3 K.Busch 3074 2
4 M.Truex Jr. 3070 4
5 R.Blaney 3063 3
6 C.Elliott 3061 2
7 J.Logano 3045 1
8 B.Keselowski 3043 1
9 W.Byron 3039 1
10 K.Harvick 3036 0
11 A.Bowman 3030 3
12 C.Bell 3018 1
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