After coming painstakingly close on multiple occasions this season, Bubba Wallace has returned to NASCAR Cup Series victory lane, taking his second career victory in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
With this victory, the No. 45 – originally scheduled to be driven by Kurt Busch – secures a spot in the next round of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Owner’s Playoffs, joining 11 other drivers, which will be determined next week at Bristol.
In order to make it happen, Wallace had to defend against a pair of hungry Toyotas behind him, as both Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin, the owner of Wallace’s No. 45 Toyota Camry, made hard charges over the closing run of the race.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 11, 2022
Hamlin, who entered the event looking for a berth into the next round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, finished one second behind Wallace when the 267-lap contest was complete, his second straight runner-up result.
Christopher Bell, Hamlin’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, finished in third place, after fading heavily in the closing stages of the race’s final stint. Despite not claiming the victory, Bell leaves Kansas as the points leader, 56 points above the cutline.
Alex Bowman, who led a race-high 107 laps, and Martin Truex Jr. completed the race’s top-five finishers, while William Byron, Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, and Daniel Suarez all helped their hopes of advancing with top-10 results.
Chase Elliott (11th), Austin Cindric (12th), Chase Briscoe (13th), Austin Dillon (14th), Joey Logano (17th), Kyle Busch (26th), Tyler Reddick (35th), and Kevin Harvick (36th), were the eight championship-eligible drivers to finish outside the top-10.