LOOKING BACK: After missing four races and most of another because of a compressed fracture in his back, Hamlin returned in grand style as he finished second at Darlington. "We ran good," said Hamlin. "We were kind of mired in fifth to eighth for most of the day. We kept grinding away. The pit crew picked us up some spots throughout the night. It was one of those days where we got our car better, pit crew picked us up positions, took us to the most optimum spot we could get to and that was second."

ETC.: Following the Darlington race, Hamlin said, "My back held up good. I'm more sore - shoulders, neck, things like that. I got to get back in racing shape. It will take time to get back to where I need to be. Really it's like starting your season over with. To start it back over at Darlington for 500 miles - there's some muscles that have gotten weak. I'm pretty sore and tired - mentally tired as well. We'll have a couple of weeks really to rest until the next long event (the Coca-Cola 600, the longest stock car race of the year) and we'll be good to go then."