Denny Hamlin used fresh tires to roar past the leaders during overtime Saturday and win the Hisense 300 Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Hamlin came in for a four-tire pit stop after a yellow flag for debris was shown on the 199th of 200 scheduled laps. While leaders Kyle Larson and Joey Logano stayed out, Hamlin dipped into the pits and came out in sixth place. He was able to pass Logano on the final lap as Larson dropped to sixth.
Hamlin overcame a penalty for an uncontrolled tire during a pit stop on Lap 163. Hamlin was in 13th on the restart, although NASCAR rules state the penalty for that infraction is to start at the tail end of the field.
“It was my job to get to end of the lead lap,” Hamlin said. “I left a buffer to allow the wave-around cars to come around and get around me. But those cars were either multiple laps down or damaged. I waited until Turn 4 to give them the opportunity. If they don’t want to get up there and race ... I’m trying to win the race and get up there as far as I can.”
Austin Dillon, who was also on fresh tires, finished second. Logano dropped to third, while Truck series regular Cole Custer was fourth.
Hamlin elected to pit and take four tires during a caution with four laps remaining. Those fresh tires allowed him to pass Kyle Larson and Joey Logano.
Three who mattered
Denny Hamlin: Overcomes late-race penalty to win in Kyle Busch Motorsports car.
Cole Custer: Truck series regular has top-10 finishes in is two Xfinity starts (sixth at Richmond; fourth at Charlotte).
Kyle Larson: Close again (he finished second in the Dover Cup race two weeks ago and led late in the All-Star race last week). But – again – couldn’t seal the deal.
▪ An early wreck took out the two drivers who started on the front row. Pole-sitter Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez both spun and hit the wall on Lap 25 after rookie Ray Black Jr. dropped oil on the track. Elliott Sadler was also involved. Jones finished 31st. Suarez was 12th, but maintained his points lead by 14 points over Sadler.
▪ The fuel can for Brennan Poole’s No. 48 ended up in the middle of pit road on Lap 116 after Poole pulled away with it still stuck on the car. A NASCAR official picked it up and carried it back to Poole’s pit. He had to go to the end of the field.
▪ More than one quarter (54 laps) of the race was run under caution. The longest of the eight yellow flags was 16 laps (when Jones, Suarez and Sadler wrecked).
▪ Justin Allgaier was the highest-finishing Xfinity regular, coming in fifth.
They said it
“I’m disappointed, but I’m used to it by now.” – Larson.
Pocono Green 250
Where: Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa.
When: 1 p.m., June Saturday.
Radio: Motor Racing Network.