Denny Hamlin adds to Playoff total with Opening Stage Win In “Sin City”

LAT Images

Toyota Playoff drivers Denny Hamlin (third), Martin Truex Jr. (fourth) and Kyle Busch (sixth) drove to top-six finishes at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to lead Toyota in the South Point 400 on Sunday evening for the NASCAR Cup Series. Hamlin added to his Playoff point total with an opening stage victory and leaves Las Vegas with a 58-point advantage over the Playoff cutoff line. Truex is also above the cutline, with Busch just nine points below heading into Talladega Superspeedway.

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Race 30 of 36 – 400.5 miles, 267 laps

TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS

1st, Kurt Busch*

2nd, Matt DiBenedetto*

3rd, DENNY HAMLIN

4th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.

5th, Alex Bowman*

6th, KYLE BUSCH

8th, ERIK JONES

24th, CHRISTOPHER BELL

29th, DANIEL SUÁREZ

37th, TIMMY HILL

39th, CHAD FINCHUM

*non-Toyota driver 

TOYOTA QUOTES

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 3rd

How was your race today overall?

“We had a dominant car today and I’m proud of the whole FedEx team for giving me such a great car. By far the best car I’ve had in Las Vegas in a long time. It was really, really good. Happy with it and this new tire here. We’ll run that a few more times this year. Really encouraged by the way we ran, but very disappointed that we didn’t get a win. It’s just been the way that the Playoffs have gone. Whoever stays out the longest puts themselves in a great spot to win.”

Do you feel better leaving Las Vegas with a third-place finish heading to Talladega?

“I feel good about it. I certainly had a great day. It’s something I’m happy about, it’s about how we ran and how fast we were. We restarted 13th there with just a few laps and then the top got shuffled and we were able to make some ground on the bottom. If either one of the cautions don’t happen, we’re still in great shape, but it took them like seven laps to get a piece of debris off and then we had debris right in the fuel window. Just really unfortunate circumstances for our FedEx team that’s keeping us out of victory lane. Really happy with the way we’re running.”

How crazy were the restarts?

“It’s tough to try to figure out where to be. When my car is on the bottom, I’m faster than everyone, but when the train gets going up top and the draft gets going and you can’t overcome it. I was really happy with the push that I got. I don’t know if I would have done a different move or not. I just drove to the bottom there and I got all the way beside the 21 (Matt DiBenedetto), it was just that nobody was on the bottom there to help us push and that was all she wrote.”

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