Late Surge Earns Hamlin a Win in Kansas

Denny Hamlin celebrates in Victory Lane at Kansas
Photo – Getty Images for NASCAR

Denny Hamlin won his second race of the season today at Kansas Speedway after holding off Martin Truex Jr. late in the race. 


After a sub-par 2011 season Hamlin is back and more competitive than ever in 2012. 


This race featured only three cautions for a total of 18 caution laps. 


The first caution of the day came out when Kansas native Clint Bowyer spun out attempting to get on pit road. Bowyer suffered some damage, then engine troubles sent him to the garage. Bowyer eventually came back onto the track but his engine expired, ending his day. Regarding his troubles today, Bowyer said, “…anywhere but here.”  Bowyer said earlier this weekend, he would rather win at his hometown track of Kansas than win the Daytona 500. 


The second caution of the day came out on lap 132 for debris. Between these first two cautions many drivers made green-flag pit stops. 


So far this season, green flag pit stops have become less popular with fans.  A staggering stat from the last two races at Texas and Kansas – they have a combined total of five cautions. Something fans aren’t too happy about, but they know this issue is out of NASCAR’s control. 


The final caution of the day came out on lap 186 for Juan Pablo Montoya who hit the wall and spread some debris in the racing groove. 


After the final set of green flag pit stops, Hamlin’s pit crew did an incredible job helping Hamlin gain some ground on Truex Jr. Although Truex Jr. eventually pulled away from Hamlin, Denny would catch Truex Jr. with about 32 laps to go and pass for the lead. Hamlin never looked back and led the final 31 laps. 


With three laps to go, Truex Jr. bomb-dived into turn three coming right up beside Hamlin, but didn’t have enough momentum to stay with Hamlin off turn four. Truex Jr. got loose and lost a bunch of ground, without recovering before crossing the finish line. 


Denny Hamlin came off turn four, to win his first race at Kansas Speedway. Commenting during the press conference, Hamlin said that it would be a “…no lose situation…” with him or Martin Truex Jr. winning the race as Hamlin and Truex Jr. are friends. 


Truex Jr. was very disappointed, coming up short after a strong run for most of the race. Truex Jr. hasn’t won a Sprint Cup race since Dover in June of 2007 when he was driving for DEI. 


Hamlin, now fifth in point standings and with two wins for the season is looking very good heading into the next race at one of his favorite tracks. Next week the Sprint Cup Series is at Hamlin’s home track, Richmond International Speedway.


Results via Nascar.com
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STATUS
1
4
11
Toyota
FedEx Ground
47/4
267
Running
2
6
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
44/2
267
Running
3
15
48
Chevrolet
Lowe’s “Chevrolet Mountain Green”
42/1
267
Running
4
18
17
Ford
Ford EcoBoost
41/1
267
Running
5
17
16
Ford
3M Novec 1230
39/0
267
Running
6
2
29
Chevrolet
Rheem
38/0
267
Running
7
7
88
Chevrolet
Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard
37/0
267
Running
8
9
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
36/0
267
Running
9
21
99
Ford
Aflac
36/1
267
Running
10
25
18
Toyota
M&M’s
34/0
267
Running
11
11
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
34/1
267
Running
12
39
42
Chevrolet
Target
33/1
267
Running
13
23
14
Chevrolet
Office Depot / Mobil 1
31/0
267
Running
14
36
1
Chevrolet
McDonald’s
30/0
266
Running
15
3
20
Toyota
The Home Depot
29/0
266
Running
16
28
9
Ford
Dewalt
28/0
266
Running
17
14
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction Services
27/0
266
Running
18
19
27
Chevrolet
Zecol / Menards
26/0
266
Running
19
10
12
Dodge
SKF
0
266
Running
20
13
39
Chevrolet
Haas Automation
24/0
265
Running
21
20
24
Chevrolet
Drive to End Hunger
23/0
264
Running
22
12
31
Chevrolet
Caterpillar
22/0
264
Running
23
26
43
Ford
STP
21/0
264
Running
24
29
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row / Farm American
20/0
263
Running
25
35
93
Toyota
BK Tropical Mango Smoothie / Dr Pepper
19/0
263
Running
26
40
13
Ford
GEICO
18/0
263
Running
27
22
38
Ford
Front Row Motorsports
17/0
263
Running
28
42
32
Ford
FAS Lane Racing
0
263
Running
29
16
10
Chevrolet
Accell Construction
15/0
262
Running
30
27
34
Ford
Barrett-Jackson
14/0
262
Running
31
31
249
Toyota
JPO Absorbents
13/0
261
Running
32
1
22
Dodge
AAA
13/1
257
Running
33
5
55
Toyota
Aaron’s Dream Machine
11/0
255
Engine
34
32
83
Toyota
BK Strawberry Banana Smoothie / Dr Pepper
10/0
214
Running
35
30
47
Toyota
Reese Towpower / Highland
9/0
132
Engine
36
8
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
8/0
125
Engine
37
33
36
Chevrolet
Tommy Baldwin Racing
7/0
82
Vibration
38
24
30
Toyota
Inception Motorsports
6/0
80
Over Heating
39
38
26
Ford
Morristown Driver’s Service
5/0
65
Rear Gear
40
37
98
Ford
Curb Records
4/0
58
Over Heating
41
41
87
Toyota
AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves
0
47
Vibration
42
43
119
Toyota
Humphrey Smith Racing
0
27
Brakes
43
34
23
Chevrolet
North Texas Pipe
1/0
18
Rear Gear


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