Countdown to Daytona: 39

January 16, 2013, Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service,

There are 39 days left before the Feb. 24, 2013 Daytona 500; hence, today’s number is: 39.

The number of consecutive races Denny Hamlin has spent inside the top 10 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings, the longest current streak in the series. Hamlin moved from 11th to 10th after the 2011 fall race at Texas and has stayed there ever since. The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota finished fourth in the 2012 season-opening Daytona 500 after points were reset and remained in the top 10 throughout the season. In seven full seasons of Cup racing, Hamlin has finished the year in the top 10 six times.