NCS: Hamlin picks up third win of the season in Wurth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway

After starting on the pole for the first time in 2024, Kyle Busch would lead the first 33 laps of the day before a challenge by Ryan Blaney who had started second would make a play for the lead taking it away for the first lead change of the day.

Caution would come out for the first time of the day when Todd Gilliland would loop his car off turn four while racing with Austin Dillon. Gilliland would get stuck on the apron and banking as the towing team would struggle to get the car off spending five laps before they would finally get it unstuck.

Prior to the first caution of the day Ryan Preece would report smoke in the car starting almost as soon as they would go green for the day. Preece would struggle with it until the caution and the team would look at it but send him back out.

On the restart the smoke inside the No. 41 machine would pick up again causing Preece to come back to pit road and get it looked at thinking something with the door foam smoldering causing the issue only to go back out and turn a couple more laps before taking it to the garage for the team to investigate the issue.

In the garage the team would determine an exhaust issue in the No. 41 of Preece was causing the burning inside the car that would eventually end his day early.

“I felt like I was on fire, and I went the first 70 laps just trying to push through and then it got so bad that I couldn’t put my hands on the wheel.  I was worried that an oil line or something would melt and then the whole car gets engulfed in fire, and I don’t want to be trapped in there having that happen, so I pulled off.  Whatever happened it was completely unnecessary, and we can’t afford days like this.” Said Preece

The lead would once again change hands with Byron who came out behind Blaney during the first round of pit stops, spending the next 40-plus laps chasing the No. 12 machine before finally taking over control of the race.

As stage one would begin to wind down, Byron would begin working heavy traffic getting held up by Suarez allowing Martin Truex to not only cause Reddick in second but Byron to take over the lead.

Stage one would end when Brad Keselowski would bring out the second caution of the day with two laps remaining in the stage handing the first stage win of the day to Truex followed by Byron, Reddick, Blaney and Larson.

Stage two would run wire to wire green with only one green flag stop in the stage in which Larson would beat Truex during the cycle. Larson would take control after Corey LaJoie led 30-plus laps on an extended pit cycle for the team.

Larson would lead the final 34 laps of stage two to take home the stage win over Bowman, Hamlin, Truex and Elliott.

With the potential for final stops of the day underway, Stenhouse would wreck on the backstrech to bring out the fourth caution of the day. Stenhouse would take his car to the garage with damage to end his day.

Just prior to the caution Hamlin had pitted from the lead to bring the rest of the field along with him.

Larson however would end up beating Hamlin off pit road under the pit cycle just as Stenhouse had brought out the caution setting up Larson as the new leader coming back to green flag racing.

On the green flag Hamlin would quickly take the lead back away from Larson just as Wallace, Byron and Bell would stack up wrecking off turn two.

Wallace and Byron would both drive their cars straight to the garage ending their day. Bell would take his car to pit road for the team to look at the damage only to determine it too extensive to repair, also ending his day.

The final restart of the day would come with 62 laps remaining with Hamlin leading all the way to the checked flag with only a slight challenge from Kyle Larson in the final handful of laps as the pair would work lapped traffic with Suarez holding up Hamlin the most allowing Larson to give within a could car lengths.

Hamlin would bring home his third win of the season over Larson who finished 0.256 behind followed by Truex, Busch and Elliott rounding out the top-five.

“Just a great team. This whole Mavis Tires and Brakes team did a great job. All the guys on the wall right here, they’re the ones that make it happen. Thank you to them. Chris Gabehart, the whole team for just giving me great cars.” Said Hamlin

“Man, I love winning.’ Continues Hamlin

Hamlin’s victory also ties Lee Petty on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series winners list.

“It’s fantastic. I couldn’t hold Lee Petty’s helmet. I’ve been blessed with a great race team. This whole FedEx team, Mavis team, Sport Clips, everyone that supports this 11 car, they’re the ones that make it happen. I’m the lucky one that gets to drive it.” Said Hamlin

Larson now leaves Dover with the points lead over Truex by just 15 points.

The NASCAR Cup Series now moves onto Kansas Speedway next Sunday, May 5th at 3:00 p.m. ET on FS1.