Denny Hamlin soared to his second victory of the NASCAR Cup Series season Sunday night, winning his first career Coca-Cola 600 in the process in a frenetic and memorable night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
RELATED: Unofficial results | At-track photos
Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota led just 15 of the 413 laps in NASCAR’s longest race, which went into double overtime. It was the 48th career Cup Series win of Hamlin’s distinguished career.
Kyle Busch rallied to secure second in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Kevin Harvick slotted in third place, with Chase Briscoe fourth and Christopher Bell completing the top five, giving Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing all the spots in the top five.
Hamlin’s win capped an absolutely wild Coca-Cola 600, the first of the Next Gen car era.
The race was slowed by 18 caution periods, the largest being a Lap 191 crack-up that snared 12 cars. The red flag was later displayed midway through the final stage after a collision between Daniel Suárez and Chris Buescher, an incident which sent Buescher’s No. 17 Ford flipping through the infield. Buescher would exit the car under his own power after the safety crew carefully turned it back over.
Kyle Larson, last year’s race winner, finished ninth after an adventurous day in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He started next-to-last, scraped the wall, spun, absorbed multiple pit-road penalties and his car caught fire — all before the halfway point.
Larson was the leader on the initial NASCAR Overtime attempt, but the leaders were four-wide coming to the white flag. Larson and Austin Dillon touched, shooting the No. 3 up the track and into Ross Chastain and bringing out the yellow flag before the race became official.
Hamlin took the lead from that incident, and he held off the field on the ensuing restart.
The NASCAR Cup Series’ next race is Sunday’s Enjoy Illinois 300 (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM), the circuit’s first event at World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St. Louis.
Categories: NASCAR Cup Series, Race Recap
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