Denny Hamlin Outruns Martin Truex Jr. To Win At Richmond In NASCAR Overtime

Denny Hamlin Outruns Martin Truex Jr. To Win At Richmond In NASCAR Overtime

by April 1, 2024 0 comments

RICHMOND, Va. – On the final pit stop of the night, Denny Hamlin’s pit crew won the race off pit road, and then the Virginia native driver held off teammate Martin Truex Jr. in NASCAR Overtime to win the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on Easter Sunday.

After leading a race high of 228 laps, Martin Truex Jr. was well on his way to winning at Richmond on Sunday, but Bubba Wallace spun Kyle Larson on the frontstretch, and the accident brought out a caution just prior to the white flag.

With fresh tires being such an advantage, leaders were forced to pit, and it was Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 11 Mavis Tires & Brakes Toyota crew who catapulted Hamlin ahead of Joey Logano and Truex on pit road, earning the lead position on the NASCAR Overtime restart.

“I’ve had the best pit crew all year long,” Hamlin said. “I loved our chances. We still had Martin (Truex Jr.) – he was the deserving race winner there, but you give these pit crews an opportunity – this is what it is all about. You have to have your whole team put together – and they just killed it today.”

When the green flag flew for the final time, Hamlin took off and held Truex off through Turns 1 and 2. As Truex fell back, Hamlin sailed off to his second win of the season and his fifth at his home track in Richmond.

“We were close all day long,” Hamlin said. “We kept the leader right there close to us, but just couldn’t quite get there. It was so excruciatingly hard to pass. It made it really difficult – even with newer tires. I needed that kind of situation in the end to be able to win it.”

Despite leading the way for the majority of the race, Truex had to settle for a very disappointing fourth-place finish. On the final lap, he and Kyle Larson traded paint and following the checkered flag, Truex ran into the back of Hamlin, who he thought jumped the restart and ran him up the track. NASACR deemed that the restart was legal.

“Yeah, it’s unfortunate,” Truex said. “Unfortunately, this has happened to be a few times over the years. We were in a great spot and had a great Auto-Owners Toyota Camry all night long. The guys did a really good job all night. We got beat out of the pits and then – I don’t know. He (Hamlin) jumped the start and then used me up into turn one. Definitely sucks, but a good solid day and a car capable of winning, so we will just have to come back next week and try to get them then.”

Logano finished second in the Team Penske No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford after running consistently inside of the top-five for the majority of the race. Logano has an opportunity to battle for the win, but he spun his tires on the final restart.

“I had a chance,” Logano said. “I didn’t get a good enough restart. I really wanted to pressure them down into one and force them to work up Truex, but I spun my tires there just trying to stay with them and that ultimately cost me to be close enough to do something. I don’t know. It feels good to be towards the front again. We haven’t had a run like that in a while, but it also stings to be that close and not capitalize on the win.”

Kyle Larson finished third despite being the driver who was spun to bring out the final caution of the night. Larson had a strong night as he led 144 laps.

“Just got spun there down the frontstretch,” Larson said. “Thankfully, I didn’t get turned all the way around and I only lost one or two spots there. My pit crew did a great job all night to gain those couple of spots back on pit road for us to lineup fourth and get one spot out of it. Proud of the No. 5 Chevy team. I’m really, really happy about the execution all night long. My pit crew kept putting us in position to have a shot to win, so can’t say much more.”

Chase Elliott rounded out the top-five. Christopher Bell finished sixth, followed by William Byron, Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher and Tyler Reddick.

Larson won Stage 1, and Truex won Stage 2.

Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 kicked off in light rain as teams ran the opening laps with ‘wet weather’ tires for the first time in track history.

There were five cautions for 54 laps. Aside from Larson spinning late in the race, the only other multicar accident occurred on Lap 65, when Josh Berry sent Daniel Suarez spinning in Turn 1.

Truex leads Larson in the NASCAR Cup Series standings by 14 points.

The NASCAR Cup Series will head back to Virginia this weekend for the Cook Out 400 at Martinsville Speedway. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FS1 at 3 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: Alex Slitz/Getty Images

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