Denny Hamlin won a wild Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday by surviving two NASCAR Overtime attempts en route to his second Kansas victory. Hamlin, the 23rd-place starter, sat eighth in stage one and claimed stage two in his No. 11 FedEx Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and led 51 circuits.
The win comes one week ahead of Martinsville Speedway – a track where Hamlin holds five career victories at.
“Yeah, I love where we are at, no doubt about it,” said Hamlin. “I cannot wait to get to Martinsville. This week was just supposed to be a fun week for us, kind of check things out and make sure that we are good once we get down the road as we get to other tracks and I’m pretty happy about where we are at.”
The win did not come easy for the Virginia driver as he survived two overtime attempts with pressure from Chase Elliott and teammate Kyle Busch right on his back bumper.
With two laps remaining, Bubba Wallace and Matt Tifft tangled in turn two, drawing the sixth caution flag of the day. Tifft continued and finished 25th while Wallace was done for the day in 35th.
Just before Hamlin took the white flag as the leader, a five-car incident involved Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez and Daniel Hemric on the frontstretch. Suarez and Hemric days were done while the other three continued.
“It’s step-by-step, week-by-week,” Hamlin continued. “We are not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We concentrate every week as if it’s the most important one, and this win here shows that.”
Hamlin, who led 153 of the 277 laps, will leave the 1.5-mile Kansas oval with five wins, 17 top five and 21 top 10 finishes in 32 completed events.
Chase Elliott took the checkered flag in second after starting the afternoon in 14th. The No. 9 Chevrolet led the field for four circuits and sat 0.128 seconds behind the race winner.
The Georgia native will leave the track with his 11th top five and 15th top 10 finish in 2019.
Kyle Busch, piloting the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota, will leave with the third spot. Busch, a native of Las Vegas, finished fifth in stage one and 10th in stage two and entered the afternoon looking to score his fifth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory.
Kurt Busch and William Byron rounded out the top five.
Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Alex Bowman and Clint Bowyer were eliminated from the Playoffs.
Moving on into the Round of Eight will be Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott.
The next race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be October 27th at Martinsville Speedway. The First Data 500 will air live on NBCSN at 3:00 p.m. ET.