Denny Hamlin made a last-lap pass on Kyle Larson to score his 49th career NASCAR Cup Series victory at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Hamlin, in the No. 11 Toyota entry for Joe Gibbs Racing, led 34 of the 267 circuits en route to his fourth victory at the Kansas track.
“It’s the new NASCAR – it’s what everyone cheers about when someone else does it,” said Hamlin after the race. “I was just trying to side-draft him there and miscalculated. It was great for us to get back into position to get close to him and get him loose through (turn) one and two.”
Kyle Larson finished second after an up-and-down day at the 1.5-mile oval in his No. 5 Chevrolet. Larson started second beside teammate William Byron on the front row and spun on lap six via contact from the No. 45 of Tyler Reddick. The incident forced the No. 5 Chevrolet to pit road for minor repairs before rejoining the field.
Larson worked his way back toward the front of the field to eventually take the top spot from Martin Truex Jr. on lap 141. From there, shuffling in and out from the lead, Larson went on to lead 85 circuits. The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet battled loose conditions late.
“I was really loose. I was trying to do what I could to manage it. I was really loose at that end and, yeah, (Denny Hamlin) was just a little better than me at the end,” said Larson. “I haven’t seen a replay either, but obviously, he was side-drafting really aggressively like he would but he was touching me, it felt like. It just had me out of control, so I wish we could see what we could do.”
Hamlin leaves Kansas with 211 top-five and 326 career top-10 finishes.
Pole sitter William Byron rounded out the top-three finishers of the AdventHealth 400. The North Carolina native led twice throughout the event for a total of 10 circuits.
Bubba Wallace and Ross Chastain take home top-five finishes.
Chastain ended the day in a post-race fracas with competitor Noah Gragson after the race on pit road. Gragson was none too pleased with some moves Chastain pulled and decided to confront the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet after the race that involved both drivers taking swings at one another.
Drivers taking home top 10s were Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, and Austin Dillon.
Eleven cautions flew during the 267-lap event. The most notable yellow involved five cars off of turn two involving Erik Jones, Josh Berry, Ty Gibbs, and Chris Buescher. Gibbs continued until lap 178 before crashing out on the backstretch. It was also an event that broke the number of lead changes for a 400-mile race at Kansas.
Drivers Kyle Busch, Josh Berry, Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, and Aric Almirola were also involved in incidents throughout.
The NASCAR Cup Series shifts focus to Darlington Raceway on May 14th. The Goodyear 400 will air live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 3:00 p.m. ET.