Saturday, Dec 02
The theme of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Charlotte was hot and slick. Denny Hamlin outlasted all the chaos to record his first victory of 2016. 

With less than 40 laps to go Hamlin had to go to the rear for an uncontrolled tire during a pit stop under caution. 
It took the No. 18 car just over 30 laps to get up to third after restarting 14th.

Then a caution flew with under two laps to go and changed the entire outcome of the 300-mile race. 

Hamlin's JGR teammate and pole-sitter Erik Jones brought out a caution when he cut down a right front tire, pounding the outside wall. The No. 18 team decided to come down and put four tires on their machine, while the two race leaders stayed out. 

On the green-white-checkered finish, Hamlin grabbed the lead coming to the white flag where he wouldn't look back en route to JGR's seventh win of the season in the series. 

"It was a second opportunity," Hamlin said of his victory. "I was hoping  for that caution there and the end and we got it. We were able to get four tires and took off. It was a little closer than I thought, we were just really right in those last couple of laps."

Austin Dillon was the first off pit road taking just two tires after the final caution. He gained one position in the final two laps, finishing in the runner-up position.

After leading 58 laps and being one of two drivers to stay out under the late race caution, Joey Logano came home third. This is his second top-five finish in five races this season in the No. 22 car, which is still looking for its first victory as a team.

"We had a car that was capable of winning if circumstances were right," Logano said of his third-place effort. "I thought I was going to have a good restart next to [Kyle] and I thought if we cleared him, like we did, we would have a shot. It was just really hard to hold off those four tires." 

In his second career start Cole Custer came home with a fourth-place finish. His JR Motorsports teammate, Justin Allgaier rounded out the top five. 

Kyle Larson made a bold move in Turn 3 of the final lap going for the win, but came up short and hit the outside wall. It cost him dearly as he finished sixth after leading 46 laps. 

Larson was the leader of the race when the final caution flag flew and the No. 42 team decided to stay out. Going into the final set of corners he had a shot at the victory, but came up short of his third career XFINITY Series triumph. 

"I didn't get a great take-off and Joey [Logano] got around me and was sucking on my door," Larson said of the final restart. "Denny [Hamlin] gave me a shot and i was surprised at how much grip I had. It's pretty hard to beat four tires." 

Rookie Brandon Jones finish seventh, with RCR teammate Ty Dillon eighth, Brennan Poole ninth and Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top 10. 

There were eight cautions in the race for 54 laps. In the two races combined at Charlotte in 2015, there were just six cautions total in 600 miles of competition. 

On Lap 25, a caution flew and took out three of the first six drivers in the running order after they slid through some oil on the track in Turn 3. 

It started when pole-sitter, Jones was making a move on race leader Hamlin, but slid in the oil and made contact with the wall. From there his JGR teammate, Daniel Suarez slid and had his car saved until coming back up the track into the wall where he was met by Elliott Sadler. All three drivers went at least one lap down

Suarez rebounded to finish 12th, while Sadler came home 28th and Jones 31st. 

Next weekend, the XFINITY Series will tackle Pocono Raceway for the first time in series history. 
Like they have done numerous times in 2016, Joe Gibbs Racing swept the front three positions in qualifying at Charlotte led by Erik Jones.

In the third round of qualifying, Jones posted a lap of 184.546 mph, just edging out his teammate Daniel Suarez. The No. 20 team is coming off a victory in the XFINITY Series last event in Dover two weeks ago.

With a speed of 184.470 mph, Suarez was runner-up in qualifying for the fourth time this year. This time it was just .012 seconds behind his JGR teammate.

Out of the 11 races, the No. 19 car has begun the race in the top three positions 11 times.

In his first XFINITY Series race of 2016, Denny Hamlin was over two-tenths of a second off the top time in the final round of qualifying. He recorded a lap at 183.219 mph, which improved from practice on Thursday.

Austin Dillon sat on the pole and swept both races at Charlotte last year will start from fourth on Saturday afternoon. His hot lap was over three-tenths of a second off the pole winning time at 182.636 mph.

2014 winner of this race Kyle Larson rounded out the top five at 182.451 mph.

XFINITY Series points leader, Elliott Sadler will start just outside the top five in sixth. This marks the No. 1 team second best qualifying effort of the year, just behind a fifth in California.

The highest starting rookie is Cole Custer in 11th with Brandon Jones alongside in 12th.

Jeb Burton will have to start from the rear after getting into the wall in Round 1. He had the 27th quickest lap.

TJ Bell and Morgan Shepherd are the two drivers who failed to qualify for the 40-car field.
In a day that was filled with rain, Matt Crafton brightened his evening by dominating the Jacob Companies 200 en route to taking over the Camping World Truck Series point lead by two markers over Timothy Peters.

After passing pole-sitter, William Byron, midway through the event, the No. 88 truck never looked back, leading 76 laps. This is Crafton's first career win at Dover, as well as his first win of the season and all but clinching a Chase birth.  

"I just wanted to manage just enough and I could gap him enough and could run it hard enough to push the right front tire off," Crafton said of his victory. "We were 21st in the last practice and my guys never gave up."

Daniel Suarez made a late charge late in the race, but came up just short of winning his first NASCAR race in the top three series. He finished a half-second behind Crafton, after getting within a car length of him with five laps to go.

The third Kyle Busch Motorsports driver, Christopher Bell, came home with a third-place finish. In the first three events of the season, the No. 4 machine was involved in three accidents, but in the past two weeks he has back-to-back top five finishes.

"We've been so close this year and should have won Atlanta," Bell said post-race. "My guys kept digging throughout the race and I'm just really happy to be here at KBM."

Following his win at the season-opening event in Daytona, Johnny Sauter has had no luck at all. At Kansas last weekend he got crashed on the last lap while leading, but today he rebounded to get his second top-five finish of the year for GMS Racing.

The 18-year-old, Cole Custer jumped a Lap 55 restart that granted him the lead. NASCAR reviewed the restart and penalized the JR Motorsports team, black-flagging him. In a race that was full of comebacks, he was able to round out the top five.

"We just got caught on the restart," Custer said. "I don't know what there call was, but we had to go to the back of the field and come through the field. It was good enough to win, we just didn't have the right line on the start."

Custer gained three spots in the points, improving to 16th.

The defending winner of the event, Tyler Reddick led a bunch of laps early and recorded his first top-10 finish of 2016,finishing seventh.

Byron came home 11th after having a pit road penalty late in the event. Last week's winner lead a race-high 80 laps, all being in the first 80 circuits of the event.

It wasn't all good for Thor Sport Racing as two of the drivers, Ben Rhodes and Rico Abreu were involved in an incident on Lap 66. However, general manager of the race team said that there are no team orders as all four drivers are hard-nose competitors, looking out for themselves.

Through the first quarter of the race Brandon Jones was running second in the first race for Ranier with MDM Racing. On Lap 48, he spun trying to avoid Austin Wayne Self on the backstretch. The No. 71 car ended up finishing 20th.

The Truck Series heads to Charlotte Friday May 20 for the sixth event of 2016.
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