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January 20, 2022
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Denny Hamlin outduels Matt DiBenedetto for Bristol night race victory | NASCAR


Denny Hamlin overcame two unfastened wheels and to prevail and deny Matt DiBenedetto of his first win within the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on the Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver ran down the Leavine Family Racing driver the ultimate 40 laps and dispatched him with 11 circuits remaining to assert his fourth win of the yr and second within the final 4 races.

Hamlin began the 500-lap race from the pole place and dueled with Kyle Larson for the primary half of the race’s opening stint. His blistering tempo went sideways on Lap 79 when he acquired collected in an accident involving Austin Dillon and Jimmie Johnson.

He then fell to the rear of the highest ten whereas Larson picked up the purpose and held off a late cost from Chase Elliott to take the stage win.

Elliott gained the race off pit street and led the opening 33 laps of the stage earlier than giving strategy to Kevin Harvick on Lap 165.

The 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion pulled away and led the following 28 circuits as Hamlin pitted for a unfastened wheel on Lap 187.

He acquired trapped a lap down three laps later when Aric Almirola crashed with J.J. Yeley in Turn 3. The yellow flag pitstops shuffled the order and put Martin Truex, Jr. up entrance.

Truex, Jr. commanded the race for the following 52 laps however noticed his hopes for a stage win dashed on Lap 242 when Clint Bowyer’s spin introduced out the yellow.

That pressured Truex to pit street whereas Kurt Busch stayed out and fend off a hard-charging Daniel Suarez to take the stage win.

Kurt handed the result in brother Kyle below the stage break whereas Elliott, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski and Truex, Jr. adopted.

Busch led the primary 5 laps of the stage earlier than giving strategy to Keselowski on Lap 260. The Team Penske stored Busch at bay for 85 laps till Busch re-obtained the lead on Lap 350.

The pair swapped the lead a handful of occasions over the following ten laps till the warning flew on Lap 362 when Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and William Bryon crashed and picked up Joey Logano.

A fast pitstop stored Busch within the lead forward of teammate Erik Jones, Keselowski, Elliot and Clint Bowyer.

The race restarted on Lap 371 and Erik Jones pounced on his teammate to take the lead on Lap 373 simply as Ryan Blaney blew a tyre and brought about a sequence response that collected Front Row Motorsports Teammates Michael McDowell in addition to Jimmie Johnson and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

Jones jetted away on the Lap 388 restart as DiBenedetto snaked previous Busch to maneuver into second.

DiBenedetto handed Jones for the lead coming off Turn 2 on Lap 396 as Jones clobbered the Turn 2 wall. The injury proved to be too extreme to run competitively and compelled him to pit for repairs and transfer Elliott as much as second.

The hole between DiBenedetto and Elliott see-sawed the following 40 laps because the pair navigated lapped visitors. That fell into Denny Hamlin’s favour as he overtook Elliott for the second spot whereas DiBenedetto broken his left entrance fender after making contact with the lapped automobile of Ryan Newman.

That slowed him simply sufficient to permit Hamlin to methodically chip away on the Grass Valley, California driver’s lead all through the following 20 laps. Hamlin closed to inside a automobile size with 19 laps remaining and took over the purpose with 11 laps remaining.

DiBenedetto could not keep shut and Hamlin took the chequered flag .502s forward.

While he celebrated the win, the driving force of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry confirmed empathy for DiBenedetto.

“I’m just want to say sorry to Matt DiBendetto and Mike Wheeler (his crew chief). I hate it,” Hamlin mentioned. “I know a win would mean a lot to that team but I got to give 110 percent to my whole team.”

He continued that the ultimate run to the checkers got here right down to staying calm and listening to the steerage from his staff

“Between my spotter and crew chief, they just stayed on me to not be anxious. I took my time. I had plenty of time. I just worked him over and worked him over.

“I did not wish to present him the underside (lane) till I knew I may make the move. So I ran the highest, ran the highest, acquired the place on the underside and completed it. We had an awesome automobile, got here again from a pair laps down and right here we’re.”

DiBenedetto’s career-best second-place end comes simply days after saying that he’ll depart LFR at season’s finish.

Keselowski moved as much as third within the remaining laps whereas Kyle Busch took fourth as Chase Elliott accomplished the highest 5.

Filling out the remainder of the highest ten had been Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman.

The sturdy finishes by Bowyer, Suarez and Newman intensified the battle for the ultimate cutoff place in for the playoffs. Newman stands 14 factors to the nice in fifteenth with Suarez holding onto sixteenth – a scant two-point benefit over Bowyer.

Jimmie Johnson took a big blow within the standings by ending nineteenth after getting collected in a crash. He now lies 26 factors exterior the minimize line with two races remaining within the common season.



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