Sunday, July 16, 2017

Hamlin Wins First Race of the Season in New Hampshire

Originally written for CLNS Media.

Denny Hamlin won the Overton’s 301 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Hamlin picked up the first victory of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing, which was in the midst of a 20-race winless streak.  Hamlin said he was happy to return to victory lane and lock himself into the Chase.
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

“It’s definitely been tough, but it’s not from a lack of trying,” Hamlin said.  “We’ve been getting better every week…but we definitely needed a win for the organization and for myself to just get some momentum going.”

Kyle Larson ran Hamlin down over the final run, cutting his lead to half a second.  Hamlin said he was concerned with Larson’s faster car coming from behind.

“I was just trying to do everything I could to keep pace,” Hamlin said.  “I really just ran a pace there which I felt comfortable with just in case we restarted; I didn’t want to burn the tires up.”

Larson had to start last after his car failed post-qualifying inspection, and he drove up through the field for the second week in a row.  Larson said he was fighting hard to catch Hamlin in the closing laps.

“Heck of a day for the Target team, can’t thank everybody enough,” Larson said.  “Wish we could have got a win, but a hard-fought effort all day.”

“We’ll keep fighting hard…if we could get to start up front and get some stage wins that would be nice.”

Unofficial results:
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Kyle Larson
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Daniel Suarez
7. Clint Bowyer
8. Kurt Busch
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Jimmie Johnson
11. Chase Elliott
12. Kyle Busch
13. Danica Patrick
14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
15. Austin Dillon
16. Ty Dillon
17. Jamie McMurray
18. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
19. Ryan Blaney
20. Trevor Bayne
21. AJ Allmendinger
22. Paul Menard
23. Landon Cassill
24. Aric Almirola
25. Chris Buescher
26. Michael McDowell
27. Ryan Newman
28. Kasey Kahne
29. David Ragan
30. Matt DiBenedetto
31. Corey LaJoie
32. Ryan Sieg
33. Jeffrey Earnhardt
34. Reed Sorenson
35. Gray Gaulding
36. Josh Bilicki
37. Joey Logano
38. Cole Whitt
39. Erik Jones

Sean Gardner/Getty Images

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