Chase Elliott gave Denny Hamlin all he had in the tank, but nothing the driver of the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet did could shake Hamlin as he took his third win of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season and his 40th victory of his Cup Series career.
“Made our car really good,” Hamlin said after the race. “This is a car kinda setup based on what we had with the fall last year when we were going for the championship.”
Hamlin, 39, also swept Stages 1 and 2 earlier in the event. Could a championship be on the horizon?
“This whole FedEx team has done a phenomenal job,” Hamlin explained. “This one was special.”
Elliott held on to finish runner-up over Ryan Blaney, who was third.
For Elliott, the second place finish had to be frustrating as he had the lead after the last round of pit stops, but while trying to lap his rival Joey Logano on lap 222, Logano slowed Elliott enough for Hamlin to get by for the lead.
Hamlin never looked back.
If Elliott was frustrated by Logano, he swept it under the rug during his post-race interview.
“I just need to get through lapped traffic better, but I thought our Hooters Camaro was plenty good enough to win. I thought we executed a really nice race,” Elliott said.
Rookie Tyler Reddick had an eye-opening performance in fourth after starting from the 24th-position.
“It was just a struggle to figure out which lane would be better for me and trying to get the lead and hold it,” Reddick said of his evening. “Unfortunately, we just got a little tight there to really get all we could get through turn one to make the fence work. But all in all solid effort.”
Aric Almirola finished fifth.
Kyle Busch was sixth, while Austin Dillon rebounded from a pit road penalty to finish seventh on the same day his first child, Ace Dillon, was born.
Christopher Bell, William Byron and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-10 finishers in the race.
The event was a marathon of sorts, as there were multiple weather delays, but in the end the entire distance got in and Hamlin took another victory.
Post-Race Stat Pack:
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.