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Hamlin, Harvick face uphill battle

Jay Hart
Yahoo Sports

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Charlotte Motor Speedway is one of Jimmie Johnson's best tracks in the Chase. It's Kevin Harvick's worst, Denny Hamlin's second-worst, which is why 'Damage Control' week continues on for the closest challengers to the four-time defending champ.

Each Wednesday during the Chase, Yahoo! Sports breaks down the 12-driver field. Here is a look at how the field stacks up heading into Race No. 5 of the Chase, Saturday's Bank of America 500:

1. Jimmie Johnson
5673 pts.
Johnson

If he hits his average finish from here on out, the only thing standing between Johnson and No. 5 is an accident or a mechanical failure. Can he avoid both?
Last week's result: 3nd

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
6 13 3
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 10.2
Last time: 37th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Phoenix (4.9)
Worst: Talladega (17.8)
Total avg.: 10.2
2. Denny Hamlin
5637 pts. (-36)
Hamlin

Hamlin hasn't been bad in the Chase but he hasn't been great either – and he'll need to be great to overcome Johnson. Does he have another gear?
Last week's result: 8th

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
6 11 1
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 18.5
Last time: 18th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Martinsville (6.6)
Worst: Talladega (19.3)
Total avg.: 12.7
3. Kevin Harvick
5619 pts. (-54)
Harvick

Still lying in the weeds, waiting for the two in front of him to make a mistake. If they do, Harvick will pounce. The question is, will they err?
Last week's result: 7th

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
3 13 2
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 20.7
Last time: 11th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Homestead-Miami (8.4)
Worst: Charlotte (20.7)
Total avg.: 15.1
5588 pts. (-85)
Gordon

When will Gordon and Steve Letarte finally put together a complete race, one full of the right pit calls and free of penalties on pit road?
Last week's result: 9th

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
0 11 0
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 15.4
Last time: 6th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Martinsville (6.7)
Worst: Talladega (16.7)
Total avg.: 12.4
5566 pts. (-107)
Stewart

Will running out of gas haunt Stewart for the rest of the season? If he loses the championship by anything fewer than 90 points, it will.
Last week's result: 1st

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
2 9 2
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 13.4
Last time: 15th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Phoenix (11.7)
Worst: Talladega (14.8)
Total avg.: 13.1
5533 pts. (-140)
Kurt Busch

No driver has ever won all three Charlotte races – the 600, All-Star race and Saturday's 500 – in the same season. Will Kurt Busch be the first?
Last week's result: 21st

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
2 9 2
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 20.0
Last time: 1st
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Talladega (12.8)
Worst: Martinsville (21.6)
Total avg.: 16.8
5511 pts. (-162)
Edwards

He refuses to throw in the towel, using his near comeback in 2008 as motivation. But can he find the speed he had 2008 now? Not likely.
Last week's result: 34th

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
0 7 2
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 13.2
Last time: 16th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Homestead-Miami (6.5)
Worst: Talladega (22.5)
Total avg.: 15.0
5496 pts. (-177)
Burton

Was this the last, best shot Burton had at winning the championship that he hasn't been able to win in what's been a solid 17-year career?
Last week's result: 23rd

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
0 6 0
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 15.1
Last time: 25th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Phoenix (11.4)
Worst: Talladega (18.4)
Total avg.: 14.9
5486 pts. (-187)
Kyle Busch

Will he implode after two straight bad finishes? Or will he use it as motivation to go on a tear? One thing we know – he's capable of either.
Last week's result: 35th

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
3 8 2
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 17.8
Last time: 3rd
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Phoenix (13.9)
Worst: Homestead-Miami (25.2)
Total avg.: 18.8
5458 pts. (-215)
Biffle

How many wins will Biffle have at the end of the season? Texas and Homestead-Miami are great tracks for him, meaning he has a good shot at winning four.
Last week's result: 41st

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
2 6 0
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 19.1
Last time: 32nd
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Homestead (13.5)
Worst: Martinsville (22.3)
Total avg.: 18.7
5432 pts. (-241)
Kenseth

He appears to be at a crossroads. Is Kenseth the driver who won a title in 2003? Or is he a very good but not great driver?
Last week's result: 30th

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
0 5 0
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 15.4
Last time: 10th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Texas (9.9)
Worst: Homestead (19.8)
Total avg.: 16.4
5426 pts. (-247)
Bowyer

With the title out of reach, will Bowyer be able to show everyone over the next six races that he's a legitimate race winner?
Last week's result: 2nd

2010 STATS
Wins Top 5s Poles
1 6 0
CAREER
AT CHARLOTTE
Avg. finish: 17.7
Last time: 8th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Martinsville (12.8)
Worst: Talladega (21.4)
Total avg.: 16.4