Sunday, August 7, 2016

Denny Hamlin Picks Up First Road Course Win

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Denny Hamlin won the Cheez-It 355 from Watkins Glen International on Sunday afternoon.

Hamlin picked up his first career road course victory on Sunday, which he said has bothered him the past few years.

Sean Gardner (Getty Images)
“I’ve finally won at all the tracks, so it’s a great accomplishment for us,” Hamlin said.  “We should have won both road courses, which is something I’d never have predicted going into the year.”

Hamlin used fuel strategy to get the victory, stretching his fuel 40 laps.  Hamlin said his team looked at past Watkins Glen races for their strategy.

“I feel like these races tend to trend with a lot of cautions right at the end, and we got the caution laps we needed to get to the end on fuel.”

Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski got together in the final corner while fighting for the lead, and Truex hit the wall.  After the race, Truex showed his frustration by door-slamming Keselowski.  Keselowski said the wreck was an accident.

“Obviously it’s my fault, I never mean to run into the back of somebody,” Keselowski said.  “At the last minute, he came back up and I was already committed.  That’s my fault.”

After the race, Keselowski apologized to Truex on pit road.  Truex said he wanted to let Keselowski know he was frustrated.

“I told him I knew it was his fault, simple as that,” Truex said.  “I just wanted him to know that I wasn’t happy after the race.  As far as the rest of it, it’s no big deal…just hard racing.”

Unofficial results:
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Joey Logano
3. Brad Keselowski
4. AJ Allmendinger
5. Tony Stewart
6. Kyle Busch
7. Martin Truex Jr.
8. Jamie McMurray
9. Trevor Bayne
10. Matt Kenseth
11. Kurt Busch
12. Casey Mears
13. Chase Elliott
14. Jeff Gordon
15. Carl Edwards
16. Ryan Newman
17. Michael McDowell
18. Clint Bowyer
19. Ryan Blaney
20. Kasey Kahne
21. Danica Patrick
22. Paul Menard
23. Landon Cassill
24. Boris Said
25. Brian Scott
26. Josh Wise
27. Aric Almirola
28. Cole Whitt
29. Kyle Larson
30. Chris Buescher
31. Austin Dillon
32. Kevin Harvick
33. David Ragan
34. Matt DiBenedetto
35. Regan Smith
36. Alex Kennedy
37. Michael Annett
38. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
39. Greg Biffle
40. Jimmie Johnson

Jonathan Ferrey (Getty Images)

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