By Jason Schultz
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
|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|
|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|
|11||11||2||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Miller Lite||34/1||267||Running|
|13||23||14||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Office Depot / Mobil 1||31/0||267||Running|
|15||3||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||The Home Depot||29/0||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|
|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|
|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|
|31||31||249||J.J. Yeley||Toyota||JPO Absorbents||13/0||261||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|