Denny Hamlin wins IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol

Sunday 26th August, 2012 - 1:06pm

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Hamlin edged  closer towards clinching a Chase spot with victory

Hamlin edged closer towards clinching a Chase spot with victory

Denny Hamlin has taken his third victory of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season by winning a typically bruising IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver took the lead from Carl Edwards with 38 laps remaining before going on to lead home Jimmie Johnson by 1.1s. Johnson had worked his way through the field during the race after being one of the worst effected by Friday’s qualifying washout.

Hamlin meanwhile faced plenty of adversity of his own during the night including an early hit with Landon Cassill in pitlane, a later scrape with the track’s infamous walls and continual engine overheating issues under caution.

Johnson’s Hendrick team-mate Jeff Gordon came home third, with Brian Vickers and Marcos Ambrose filling fourth and fifth respectively. Vickers ran second to Edwards with 50 laps remaining but effectively lost his chance of victory by dropping three places with a half-lose at Turn 2 while trying to take the lead.

Ambrose meanwhile struggled for speed in the opening stint of the race but ran competitively thereafter to record his third top five finish in as many starts.

Edwards ended the race in 22nd position after requiring a late fuel stop. The Roush Fenway team had tried to stretch the #99 Ford’s fuel and tyres for 175 laps to the flag but ran four laps short.

Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr (12th), Greg Biffle (19th) and Matt Kenseth (25th) all clinched positions in the Chase courtesy of their results. Earnhardt’s finishing position came after the Hendrick driver lost considerable track position midrace after being penalised for pitting on a closed pit road.

The most controversial moment of the race occurred on Lap 335 when Kenseth and Tony Stewart clashed while battling for the lead off of Turn 4. Once out of the car, Stewart threw his helmet at the Roush Ford before heading to the medical centre.

Another to end the night with a bent car was Danica Patrick, who was spun into the inside wall by Regan Smith while running on the lead lap with just 66 laps remaining.

Earlier incidents had also accounted for the chances of Ryan Newman (who clashed with Juan Pablo Montoya), Jeff Burton (who struck the spinning Newman) and Brad Keselowski (who took damage in a nose-to-tail incident with Vickers and Kurt Busch before eventually being tagged by Bobby Labonte). The incidents contributed to a total of 13 caution periods across the 500 laps.

Revisions to the banking progression at Bristol ahead of the weekend proved to have a significant impact on the style of racing, with ‘slide job’ passes proving the order of the day on the now single-lane racing groove.

Biffle now heads to next weekend’s Race 25 of the championship in Atlanta with a reduced 11 point lead over Johnson.

See below for the full race result

FIN

ST

DRIVER

MAKE

SPONSOR

PTS/BNS

LAPS

STATUS

1 8 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 47/4 500 Running
2 37 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s Dover White 43/1 500 Running
3 11 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet FarmVille / Drive to End Hunger 41/0 500 Running
4 22 Brian Vickers Toyota MyClassicGarage.com 41/1 500 Running
5 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford DEWALT 40/1 500 Running
6 10 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s 38/0 500 Running
7 23 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 37/0 500 Running
8 4 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 38/2 500 Running
9 12 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet HendrickCars.com 36/1 500 Running
10 7 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards / Schrock 34/0 500 Running
11 15 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 34/1 500 Running
12 16 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard 33/1 500 Running
13 28 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 31/1 500 Running
14 36 Bobby Labonte Toyota Bush’s Baked Beans 30/0 500 Running
15 13 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem 29/0 500 Running
16 14 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 28/0 500 Running
17 26 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Allstate 27/0 500 Running
18 41 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 26/0 500 Running
19 3 Greg Biffle Ford 3M / Bondo 26/1 500 Running
20 18 David Gilliland Ford Taco Bell 24/0 500 Running
21 1 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 24/1 500 Running
22 27 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal 23/1 496 Running
23 30 Michael McDowell Ford K-Love / Curb Records 21/0 496 Running
24 33 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 20/0 490 Running
25 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Valvoline NextGen 20/1 486 Running
26 25 Dave Blaney Chevrolet SealWrap 18/0 476 Accident
27 21 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Office Depot 18/1 471 Running
28 20 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction 16/0 440 Running
29 43 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 0 434 Accident
30 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 14/0 434 Running
31 39 Jason Leffler Toyota America Israel Racing 0 417 Running
32 24 David Ragan Ford Glory Foods 12/0 409 Running
33 6 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 11/0 360 Running
34 29 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 0 343 Running
35 5 Aric Almirola Ford Goody’s Headache Powders 9/0 235 Accident
36 19 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Outback Steak House 8/0 189 Accident
37 31 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 7/0 159 Rear Gear
38 32 Josh Wise * Ford MDS Transport 6/0 150 Brakes
39 40 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM-FM Energy 0 130 Electrical
40 38 Stephen Leicht * Chevrolet Little Joes Autos.com 4/0 56 Fuel Pressure
41 35 Scott Riggs Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 3/0 20 Brakes
42 42 Ken Schrader Ford Federated Auto Parts 2/0 9 Accident
43 34 Mike Bliss Toyota Plinker Tactical 0 6 Power Steering

See below for the updated points standings

RANK

DRIVER

POINTS

1 Greg Biffle 849
2 Jimmie Johnson 838
3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 834
4 Matt Kenseth 823
5 Martin Truex Jr. 797
6 Clint Bowyer 794
7 Brad Keselowski 790
8 Denny Hamlin 774
9 Kevin Harvick 767
10 Tony Stewart 746
11 Kasey Kahne 730
12 Carl Edwards 712
13 Kyle Busch 707
14 Paul Menard 699
15 Jeff Gordon 691
16 Ryan Newman 688
17 Marcos Ambrose 679
18 Joey Logano 638
19 Jamie McMurray 598
20 Jeff Burton 577
21 Juan Montoya 562
22 Aric Almirola 557
23 Regan Smith 516
24 Bobby Labonte 513
25 Kurt Busch 452
26 Casey Mears 436
27 David Gilliland 425
28 Mark Martin 417
29 David Ragan 409
30 AJ Allmendinger 400
31 Travis Kvapil 399
32 Landon Cassill 372
33 Dave Blaney 308
34 David Reutimann 306
35 Brian Vickers 177
36 David Stremme 172
37 J.J. Yeley 135
38 Michael McDowell 122
39 Josh Wise* 107
40 Ken Schrader 102
41 Stephen Leicht* 89
42 Michael Waltrip 75
43 Scott Speed 69
44 Tony Raines 67
45 Terry Labonte 66
46 Brendan Gaughan 50
47 Scott Riggs 41
48 Boris Said 34
49 Bill Elliott 14
50 Hermie Sadler 13
51 Robby Gordon 11
52 Mike Skinner 10
53 Tomy Drissi 6
54 Stacy Compton 5
55 David Mayhew 4
56 Patrick Long 2
57 Kelly Bires 2
58 Sam Hornish Jr. 0
59 Trevor Bayne 0
60 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0
61 Mike Bliss 0
62 Austin Dillon 0
63 Robert Richardson Jr. 0
64 Elliott Sadler 0
65 Reed Sorenson 0
66 Joe Nemechek 0
67 Danica Patrick 0
68 T.J. Bell 0
69 Jason White 0
70 Jason Leffler 0
71 Cole Whitt 0
72 Chris Cook 0
73 Timmy Hill 0
74 Brian Simo 0
75 Tim Andrews 0
76 Jeff Green 0
77 Mike Wallace 0
78 Kenny Wallace 0

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