Hamlin snatches Kansas win on last lap
Monday 8th May, 2023 - 10:12am
Denny Hamlin has taken a dramatic Kansas Speedway victory from Kyle Larson after a back-and-forth exchange came down to a last-lap pass.
It’s the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s fourth win at the Kansas track with the #11 making a final lap pass to take the victory.
“Yeah, so proud of this whole FedEx team,” said Hamlin.
“Got position there, was trying to side-draft him [Larson] but clipped his left rear.
“But glad he was able to at least finish.
“400 wins for Joe Gibbs Racing, which is a great accomplishment.”
The race start saw an almost immediate caution when Tyler Reddick went into the back of Larson after a blocking attempt at the first corner.
Larson was sent flying in a spin to the back of the field but was able to take advantage of multiple caution periods during the race to make his way back into the top 10 by the end of Stage 1.
Upcoming race-winner Hamlin won the first Stage.
At the end of the second Stage, Kyle Busch had suffered an early exit after the #8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet crashed into the inside retaining wall on the backstretch, the damage to great to continue.
This left Joey Logano to take the Stage 2 victory in his Penske Mustang.
Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain battled during the early stages of the final Stage and Gragson made contact with the wall at Turn 3, believing that the #1 Trackhouse Racing driver pushed him.
The two then became engaged in a physical altercation in the pits as the race finished, Gragson confronting Chastain before being pulled apart by officials.
With 26 laps to go, Hamlin overtook William Byron to start his charge to fight for the lead with Larson and, with 14 laps to go, had already cut Larson’s lead in half.
With five laps to go, Hamlin was searching for an overtaking opportunity on the bottom of the track but Larson held on to the lead.
The final lap went saw the lead pair side-by-side before Hamlin hit the left rear of Larson’s Camaro, sending the #5 Hendrick Motorsports driver into the backstretch upper wall.
Hamlin sailed to victory while Larson recovered top come home in second place, while polesitter Byron took the final podium place.
NASCAR’s next race goes to Darlington Raceway on 14 May 15:00 local time/15 May at 05:00 AEST.
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