Denny Hamlin dominated the opening Stage of Sunday’s Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway. The pole sitter of the race led 113 of the 120 laps contested in Stage 1. Hamlin is looking to become just the third driver in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history to win in his 500th career start (Richard Petty and Matt Kenseth are the others).
Martin Truex Jr., who won at Dover earlier in the season, finished second in Stage 1.
Kyle Larson, who is still in search of his first points-paying win of the season, finished third in the opening frame of the race.
William Byron battled Larson hard for the third spot for the majority of the Stage, but settled for fourth. Byron is looking for his first career win.
Kevin Harvick finished fifth in the Harvick Beer No. 4 Ford Mustang.
Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-10 in the opening Stage.
Playoff contender Joey Logano went behind the wall before the race began as he suffered a broken axle during pace laps. After 23 laps of repairs, Logano returned to the track. He ended Stage 1 in 36th, 25 laps off the pace.
Another championship hopeful, Chase Elliott completed seven laps and looked to be settling in for a 400-mile race at one of his best race tracks. Then, his motor went south. Elliott’s car lost power and he went behind the wall.
Elliott is officially out of the race and will be credited with a last-place finish a week after winning at the Charlotte Roval.
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