Denny Hamlin Makes Last Lap Pass On Joey Logano To Win At Darlington Racewayby Camille Jones September 2, 2017
DARLINGTON, S.C. – Denny Hamlin won Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway after making a final lap crossover move on Joey Logano to retake the lead as he crossed the finish line.
Hamlin led 33 laps in his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota on his way to capturing his fifth series victory in 10 races at the track Too Tough To Tame.
The field lined up for a restart with two laps to go. Hamlin soared to the lead with a stellar restart, but Logano was able to hang on tight to battle for the lead after taking the white flag. He passed Hamlin, but coming off of Turn 4, Hamlin was able to make the crossover pass and sail by Logano for the race win.
“I didn’t anticipate the 22 (Joey Logano) getting back to us like that, but he did and hats off to them and they didn’t have probably the fastest car, but they had great pit stops all day and put themselves in position and then I knew going down the backstretch that he was going to have inside position,” Logano said. “It was up to me then to back up the corner, let him slide up the race track and slide back around him on the exit, so it takes a lot of patience, but glad it all worked out for us and this whole Sport Clips team.”
Hamlin was competing with a throwback scheme that honored Richmond, Virginia’s racing legend Ray Hendrick. His son Roy Hendrick was absolutely thrilled that his father’s car yet again, reached Victory Lane; however this time, it was in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
“I’ll tell you what, that was one of the best wins I’ve seen in a long time,” said Roy Hendrick. “I was so thrilled that I almost got to crying, and I don’t cry for nothing, but I almost did. It was just so grateful, and I am so grateful for him to do what he has done and Sport Clips and FedEx letting him do it and all this. I know he probably had to work pretty hard to get that done. For my family, it’s unbelievable. If he could win this thing tomorrow, it would be crazy. I wouldn’t go home for a week!”
Logano’s No. 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford led the way for 58 laps. He has finished in the top-10 five times in six races at the 1.366-mile track. Logano led a race high of 58 laps.
“Obviously, second hurts,” Hamlin said. “We want to win every one of them and we just got out-motored. He went through the gear box and got position on me and off he went. He had me at his right-rear quarter, which allowed him to stay wide open and clear me. I thought I had a run down the backstretch. He knew what I was thinking and I knew what he was thinking. I was just hoping that I got up to the wall and was able to rotate when I got there, but I just got tight when I got there.”
Kevin Harvick finished in the third position in his No. 41 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick led 54 laps in the race.
Erik Jones and William Byron finished in the top-five. Brennan Poole, Ty Dillon, Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer and Austin Dillon completed the top-10.
There were nine cautions for a total of 33 laps over the course of the 148-lap event.
The race started off with a bang, as Matt Tifft spun his No. 19 head on into the inside wall at the end of Lap 1. Ty Dillon, Ray Black Jr., Dylan Lupton, Spencer Gallagher and Ben Kennedy also brought out cautions in the event for spins.
Dakoda Armstrong took a spin late in the race, bringing out the caution with 11 laps to go. On the restart with six to go, Logano surged out to the lead, while Harvick slid back rapidly after restarting on the front row. In the midst of the chaos, Elliott Sadler and Erik Jones make contact, turning Sadler head-on into the outside wall. Sadler was unable to finish the event due to having significant damage.
Sadler currently remains the leader of the NASCAR XFINITY Series points standings over teammate William Byron by 91 points.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series heads to Richmond Raceway next weekend for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 on Friday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com