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Hamlin Gets First Truck Series Victory

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 29 2011

Denny Hamlin got the truck victory at Martinsville. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

Denny Hamlin won his first ever Camping World Truck Series race when he topped the field at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday.

Hamlin, driving the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, as making his 12th start in the series.

He has now won in all three of NASCAR’s top series.

“It’s a big deal for me,” Hamlin said of becoming a three-series winner. “More than what people probably think. When they think that we go down into these different series – Nationwide and Truck – and we’re just going down there trying to get wins. From my standpoint, it’s very, very tough. The Truck Series is more competitive now than it’s ever been so it means a lot to myself to win a Truck Series race, especially just running one a year usually. It’s just been one of those weekends where you unload and it’s pretty good. I felt like we gave these guys an off-weekend as far as adjustments and stuff. I know you can have weekends where you can unload and you have to work you guts out to get it right. This is just one of those weekends where everything worked out great for us.”

Ron Hornaday Jr. ran second. Points leader Austin Dillon, who finished third. Johnny Sauter ran fourth, followed by Joey Coulter and Kevin Harvick.

Dillon passed Harvick for the lead on Lap 141 shortly after a restart that followed the sixth caution of the race, caused by contact between Germain Racing teammates Todd Bodine and Max Papis, who battled until Papis spun off Bodine’s front bumper.

After Papis spun again to bring out the seventh caution, Dillon led the field to the green flag for a restart on Lap 160 and held the top spot until Ryan Sieg’s spin on Lap 172 caused caution No. 8. Moments before the yellow flew, Hornaday passed Harvick for second, setting up a battle between a four-time champion (Hornaday) and a driver seeking his first title (Dillon).

When the field restarted on Lap 179, Dillon and Hornaday held the top two spots, chased by Hamlin and Sauter, both on fresher tires. One caution later, Hamlin powered past Hornaday, who complained of brake problems, and Dillon on a Lap 187 restart and pulled away for the win.

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 29 2011
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