|Hamlin will be missed at his home track of Martinsville this week|
Under past season points scoring, his championship hopes would have been finished by missing a race.
But under the current rules that reward the final two positions of the Chase for drivers within the top-20 who won the most during the first 26 races, Hamlin still has a glimmer of hope. This is why the LVH Super Book still has Hamlin posted at 18/1 odds (Bet $100 to win $1,800) to win the championship. That may seem like low odds considering Hamlin is expected to miss up to five races, but there is that small window of opportunity that makes it a possibility.
The bottom line for Hamlin when he does come back is to simply win as many races as possible and hope he can climb into the top-20. Last season, Hamlin had five wins -- good enough to tie for the most in the Sprint Cup Series.