Denny Hamlin learns from 2010

FORT WORTH -- NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin won't dwell on the negatives of barely missing a championship in a memorable Chase duel with Jimmie Johnson in 2010.

"I think we have to look at the positives," Hamlin said Wednesday at TMS Media Day. "We ran the Chase we wanted to except for that last race and that's how we have to look at it. We want to build off it."

Hamlin said that doesn't mean his team didn't step back and analyze what they could have done better in 2010.

"It starts with qualifying," Hamlin said. "There were times we didn't qualify as well as we could have and that would have put us in better position."

Hamlin said he's looking forward to coming to Texas in early April. He won both races at TMS in 2010, winning the spring race 16 days after surgery to repair a torn ACL (he tore it playing basketball). That race was a springboard to his season. His victory in the Fall put him in the points lead, though temporarily.

Hamlin has been in Texas a few times this year already. He came in for the Super Bowl and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban even let him play some pickup basketball at American Airlines Center. Hamlin said he was back on a court about seven months after his surgery, so the leg healed well.

"Believe me you'd rather break just about any bone in your body than have a torn ACL," Hamlin said.

But he's recovered nicely. And now he's got his sights set on winning his first championship.