Denny Hamlin scored his eighth Stage Win of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway. However, it wasn’t a simple run to the green and white checkered flag as Hamlin had to contend with Austin Dillon for the duration of the Stage.
Hamlin led a Stage-high 43 laps.
Dillon, a surprise winner earlier in the season at Texas Motor Speedway, and who startled the Playoff field by finishing runner up at Darlington Raceway in the first race of the Playoffs a week ago, finished runner-up in Stage 1 after leading 18 laps.
Team Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski finished third and fourth in Stage 1 and Kevin Harvick, who has eight race wins this year, was fifth.
Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-10 finishers in Stage 1.
Kyle Busch, who started from the rear of the field after failing pre-race inspection twice, rallied to finish 13th in Stage 1.
Every Playoff contender finished inside the top-17 in Stage 1, except Ryan Blaney, who entered the day last in the 16-driver Playoff Grid.
Blaney was running 14th, when he came to pit road under the competition caution. Under this pit stop, he left pit road with loose lug nuts and had to return to the pits so his team could get the wheel secured. Blaney sits 25th after Stage 1.
Stage and Playoff Points Awarded in Stage 1:
|Finish||Driver||Stage Points||Playoff Points|
|7||Martin Truex Jr.||4||0|
|9||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||2||0|
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