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Denny Hamlin Snipes Richmond Victory in NASCAR Overtime 

Photo Credit: Tyson Gifford,

There was no doubt Kyle Larson and Martin Truex, Jr. had the NASCAR Cup Series field in their back pocket in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400, but as is the case many times in motor racing, the fastest vehicle doesn’t always park in Victory Lane.

Instead, a picture-perfect sequence of events allowed Denny Hamlin to be the driver celebrating on the frontstretch at Richmond Raceway, collecting his second victory of the 2024 season, and his fifth at the three-quarter-mile short track in Richmond, Virginia.

It all started with the evening’s fifth and final caution, when Kyle Larson and Bubba Wallace made contact while battling for a position inside the top five, sending the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion spinning down the frontstretch with two laps remaining.

Then, the ball shifted into the court of the pit crews. As they have all season long, the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing crew delivered during the money stop, putting down a blazing 8.99-second pit stop, more than a full second quicker than Truex, his teammate, who came down pit road with the race lead.

Throw in a perfect NASCAR Overtime restart from Hamlin, and there was no denying the Chesterfield, Virginia the victory, the 53rd of his career in the NASCAR Cup Series. In doing so, the 43-year-old is the second driver to score multiple wins on the season.

“All pit crew, this is a team win for sure,” Hamlin said on the frontstretch after the race. “This trophy needs to go to each one of these pit crew members, they just did an amazing job, they’ve been killing it all year. Thanks to Mavis Tires & Brakes for coming on, man we’ve got some good runs with these guys.”

The decision by Hamlin to move Truex slightly up the racetrack on the second-to-last lap of the event, would ultimately be what scored the driver of the No. 11 the victory on Sunday, while also allowing Joey Logano to slot into a much-needed second-place result.

For Logano, it’s the first top-five result of the season, and just his second top-10, but more importantly helps the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion in his journey to climb back up the NASCAR Cup Series point standings after a dismal opening six events.

Kyle Larson, despite being the driver who flipped the event on its head late in the going, managed to bring his Chevrolet home in third place, with Martin Truex, Jr. coming home in fourth after leading a race-high 228 of 407 laps.

Larson and Truex engaged in several instances of full-contact racing in the final two laps, which led to the pair of drivers nearly crashing after the checkered flag in the first corner, after having slammed doors down the fronstretch.

Chase Elliott, who started on the front row for the first time in over a year, managed to bring home his first top-five result of the year, finishing fifth. Christopher Bell finished sixth after recovering from a late-race speeding penalty in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry XSE.

William Byron had a quiet evening, finishing seventh place for Hendrick Motorsports. RFK Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher finished eighth and ninth, while Tyler Reddick rounded out the top-10 for 23XI Racing.

Throughout the 407-lap contest at Richmond Raceway, the entire field managed to stay on track and finish the race in one piece, and within three laps, with Corey LaJoie and Zane Smith being the only drivers to finish more than two laps down.

Leaving Richmond, the NASCAR Cup Series is preparing for an even tighter short track at Martinsville Speedway, where the field is prepared to take on a full-contact half-mile paperclip, also located in Virginia.

Martin Truex, Jr. maintains the points lead in the NASCAR Cup Series over Kyle Larson by 14 markers, with Denny Hamlin, Ty Gibbs, and Ryan Blaney inside the top five. Christopher Bell and William Byron sit sixth and seventh.

Race Results: NCS Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway

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