This is bad news for the NASCAR Xfinity Series field… Denny Hamlin is fast. On Lightning McQueen Day (September 5th), Hamlin is showing that he’s faster than fast, quicker than quick as he took the Stage 1 win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway.
Hamlin started from the rear of the field and was able to make easy work of the field to take the Stage win in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra.
Ross Chastain finished second, while Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe and Noah Gragson finished third through fifth.
Brandon Jones, driving Robert Huffman’s old Goody’s Dash throwback scheme, finished sixth in Stage 1.
Tommy Joe Martins made a strategy play to take tires under the lap 20 competition caution. The move paid huge dividends as the underdog racer finished seventh in the Stage and took home some Stage Points.
Michael Annett, Ryan Sieg and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top-10 finishers.
Other than Hamlin stinking up the show, the only major highlight in the Stage was a six-car incident on lap two. Anthony Alfredo triggered the crash when his No. 21 car hit the splitter, sending him sliding into the wall.
He collected Daniel Hemric, Ryan Sieg, Brandon Brown and Kyle Weatherman.
Stage and Playoff Points Awarded in Stage 1:
|Finish||Driver||Stage Points||Playoff Points|
|7||Tommy Joe Martins||4||0|
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.