Hamlin holds off Larson at Darlington for dramatic Cup win
Holding off regular-season champion Kyle Larson all through an exciting ultimate green-flag run in Sunday’s Cook dinner Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Denny Hamlin is winless in 2021 no extra.
Hamlin maintained management of his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota as Larson buried his No. 5 Chevrolet into Turns 3 and 4 on the ultimate lap. Larson gave Hamlin a faucet, however Hamlin blocked the highest lane and obtained to the end line 0.212 seconds forward of the runner-up.
“He drove it in previous the restrict of the automobile and tires,” Hamlin stated of Larson’s banzai cost. “I knew he was coming. I used to be a bit of conservative on that final lap as a result of I had that four-car-length lead.”
The victory was Hamlin’s first of the yr after a winless 26-race common season. He received for the fourth time at Darlington and for the forty fifth time in his profession to earn an computerized berth into the Spherical of 12 within the NASCAR Cup Sequence playoffs.
“Yeah, it was a matter of time,” Hamlin stated of the long-awaited win. “We will’t simply preserve main inside 10 laps to go each week and never get a win.”
Hamlin stored Larson at bay over the ultimate two restarts however couldn’t draw back to a cushty lead.
“We obtained to the white (flag), and I used to be like, ‘Effectively, I haven’t been in a position to achieve on him now, I’m going to strive one thing,’” Larson stated of the desperation strive he labeled a “video-game transfer.” “Actually, obtained to his bumper too fast. I hoped he was going to run that diamond to type of be protected and I might skirt to his exterior, however gave every little thing I had.
“I didn’t wish to wreck him. I simply needed to attempt to get to his exterior there, however he did an important job not likely making any errors over the last run, and I used to be having to push actually onerous in second to try to simply stick with him.”
Larson led 156 of the 367 laps to Hamlin’s 146. Hamlin received the primary stage and Larson the second.
Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. caught a break when Ryan Blaney spun in Flip 4 on lap 318 whereas the 2 JGR drivers stayed on the observe making an attempt to stretch the cycle of pit stops. Truex beat Hamlin off pit street however was flagged for rushing, and Hamlin held the highest spot the remainder of the best way.
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p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>DRAMA ON THE FINAL LAP! <a href=”https://twitter.com/AutomobilN