Denny Hamlin Wins at Kansas Speedway On Last-Lap Pass

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, May 7 2023

Denny Hamlin won Sunday in Kansas. (File photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Denny Hamlin used a bump and run move on Kyle Larson on the final lap and went on to win Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.

The victory was the first of the season for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

It was his fourth win at the Kansas 1.5-mile oval.

Larson was looking to win for the third time in 2023, but finished second – 1.3 seconds back.

Hamlin explained the battle he had with Larson over the last several laps.

“I was sideways. He was sideways,” Hamlin, who gave JGR its 400th victory in Cup, said. “I knew it was going to be close whether he could clear me. I was grinding his left side, trying to keep the side-draft as much as I could. It’s such a super-sensitive part and I hooked him at the end.”

William Byron, Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, was third.

Larson said, “He was able to finally get my inside off two. It seemed he was side-drafting me aggressively. I don’t know if he finally got me turned sideways, but turned me into the outside wall and he got the win.”

Bubba Wallace, who won at Kansas last fall, was fourth while Ross Chastain was fifth.

Hamlin led eight times for 34 laps. Larson led five times for a race-best 85 laps.

Martin Truex, Jr., looking to win a second straight race, led eight times for 70 laps.

Chase Elliott, who likely needs to win in order to get into the playoffs because he missed several races after breaking his leg in a snowboarding incident in early March, took his first lead of the day on Lap 188.

After the race, Chastain and rookie Noah Gragson got into a shoving match on pit road. The match ended when Chastain punched Gragson in the head and the two were separated by bystanders.

Chastain said, “Definitely crowded him up off of [Turn 4] and he took a swipe at us in [Turn 3] and then he came down and grabbed ahold of me and a very big man once told me we have a no-push policy here at Trackhouse.”

Both Chastain and Gragson are developing reputations as drivers with little regard for being gracious on the track.

“I’m sick and tired of it,” Gragson said of Chastain’s driving style. “The guy runs into everyone.”




| , RacinToday.com Sunday, May 7 2023
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