Late Surge Earns Hamlin Win in Kansas

By Jason Schultz

Via Getty Images

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 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 and some engine troubles which sent him to the garage. Bowyer eventually came out but his engine expired and ended his day. Bowyer commented after about having troubles today “Anywhere but here.”  Bowyer said earlier in the weekend that he would rather win in his hometown track of Kansas than he would want to 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. Green flag pit stops have become less popular with the fans so far this season.  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 this issue is out of Nascar’s control.

The final caution of the day came out on lap 186 for Juan Pablo Montoya who got up into 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 and Hamlin was able to gain some ground on Truex Jr.Truex Jr. eventually pulled away from Hamlin but Hamlin would catch Truex Jr. with about 32 laps to go, Hamlin never looked back and led the final 31 laps.

With three laps to go Truex Jr. bombed dived into turn three and came 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 and never recovered. Denny Hamlin came off turn four and won his first race at Kansas Speedway.

Denny commented during the press conference that it would be a “…no lose situation…” if him or Martin Truex Jr. won that race, Hamlin is friends with Truex Jr.. Truex Jr. was very disappointed after coming up short. Truex Jr. hasn’t won a sprint cup race since Dover in June of 2007 when he was driving for DEI. Hamlin who is now fifth in the points with two wins is looking very good heading into the remainder of the season. Next week the Sprint Cup Series is at Hamlin’s home track, Richmond International Speedway.

Results via Nascar.com

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 4 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 47/4 267 Running
2 6 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 44/2 267 Running
3 15 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s “Chevrolet Mountain Green” 42/1 267 Running
4 18 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Ford EcoBoost 41/1 267 Running
5 17 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M Novec 1230 39/0 267 Running
6 2 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem 38/0 267 Running
7 7 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard 37/0 267 Running
8 9 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 36/0 267 Running
9 21 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 36/1 267 Running
10 25 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s 34/0 267 Running
11 11 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 34/1 267 Running
12 39 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 33/1 267 Running
13 23 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 31/0 267 Running
14 36 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald’s 30/0 266 Running
15 3 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 29/0 266 Running
16 28 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Dewalt 28/0 266 Running
17 14 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 27/0 266 Running
18 19 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Zecol / Menards 26/0 266 Running
19 10 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge SKF 0 266 Running
20 13 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Haas Automation 24/0 265 Running
21 20 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 23/0 264 Running
22 12 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 22/0 264 Running
23 26 43 Aric Almirola Ford STP 21/0 264 Running
24 29 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 20/0 263 Running
25 35 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota BK Tropical Mango Smoothie / Dr Pepper 19/0 263 Running
26 40 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 18/0 263 Running
27 22 38 David Gilliland Ford Front Row Motorsports 17/0 263 Running
28 42 32 Reed Sorenson Ford FAS Lane Racing 0 263 Running
29 16 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet Accell Construction 15/0 262 Running
30 27 34 David Ragan Ford Barrett-Jackson 14/0 262 Running
31 31 249 J.J. Yeley Toyota JPO Absorbents 13/0 261 Running
32 1 22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge AAA 13/1 257 Running
33 5 55 Mark Martin Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 11/0 255 Engine
34 32 83 Landon Cassill Toyota BK Strawberry Banana Smoothie / Dr Pepper 10/0 214 Running
35 30 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Reese Towpower / Highland 9/0 132 Engine
36 8 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 8/0 125 Engine
37 33 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing 7/0 82 Vibration
38 24 30 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 6/0 80 Over Heating
39 38 26 Josh Wise * Ford Morristown Driver’s Service 5/0 65 Rear Gear
40 37 98 Michael McDowell Ford Curb Records 4/0 58 Over Heating
41 41 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 0 47 Vibration
42 43 119 Mike Bliss Toyota Humphrey Smith Racing 0 27 Brakes
43 34 23 Scott Riggs Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 1/0 18 Rear Gear

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