Hamlin uses last-lap crossover move to take Darlington Xfinity win
Denny Hamlin is five-for-five in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
Five times Hamlin has started a series race from the pole, and five times he’s won, including using a wild crossover move on the final lap of Saturday’s Sport Clips 200 to hold off Joey Logano for the victory.
Logano held the lead on the restart with two of 147 laps remaining, but Hamlin quickly got around him to take the lead, only to see Logano work his way back around to front.
Hamlin quickly tried a crossover move and reclaimed the lead before the checkered flag.
The win is his second this season and 17th of his career.
“I think I threw it back to the old Dale Earnhardt there in Turns 3 and 4,” Hamlin said after the race. “We definitely didn’t have the best handling car in the beginning of the race. We got it better there at the end.
“I actually was hating it when that caution came out because I thought I could run down (Kevin Harvick). We made it a little bit more exciting.”
Harvick finished third, Erik Jones was fourth and William Byron completed the top-five.
“I just got out-motored on the restart. I thought I got a good run off (Turn) 2 underneath him,” Logano said. “I got by him and I knew he was going to cross me over. Second always stings the most.”
With five laps remaining, series points leader Elliott Sadler hit the wall after racing for position with Jones to bring out a caution, which set up the final restart.
“My spotter told me I was clear, but obviously I wasn’t,” Sadler said. “We’ll rebound. We’re a strong team. We’ll come back at Richmond.”
Hamlin's fifth win from the pole at Darlington is the second-most in the series at one track. Kyle Busch holds the series record for the most wins from pole at one track - six at Phoenix Raceway.
Harvick raced past Logano on a restart with 72 laps remaining in the race and held on to capture the Stage 2 victory.
Hamlin worked his way back up to second, Logano was third, Sadler was fourth and Jones completed the top-five.
All of the lead-lap cars pit for fuel and tires during the stage break and Logano reclaimed the lead as his team got him off pit road first.
Dylan Lupton, running a paint scheme honoring Jeff Gordon’s “Rainbow Warriors,” spun on Lap 71 to bring out a caution, although he didn’t appear to make any contact with the wall.
Harvick used a daring move on the restart to charge back to the lead past Logano and Hamlin quickly began working on Logano for the second position.
Harvick ran down Hamlin and took the lead on Lap 30 of 45 and held on for the Stage 1 victory over Sadler.
Ty Dillon, who spun early and flat-spotted his tires, rallied to finish third. Hamlin was fourth and Logano completed the top-five.
Dillon’s team was granted an extra set of tires by NASCAR after flat-spotting all four of his tires during his spin on Lap 7. He made full use of them, running back up through the field after his pit stop.
Last week’s winner, Jeremy Clements, had to pit under green early in the race for a flat tire on Lap 24. He ended the first stage in 36th.
Matt Tiftt and Ross Chastain made contact before the first lap was completed. Tifft got turned into the inside wall and received serious damage, bringing his race to an early end.
|25||07||Ray Black Jr.||Chevrolet||148||6.632|
|29||28||Dakoda Armstrong||Toyota||147||1 lap|
|30||24||Dylan Lupton||Toyota||147||1 lap|
|31||78||Tommy Joe Martins||Chevrolet||145||3 laps|
|32||40||Timmy Hill||Dodge||145||3 laps|
|33||1||Elliott Sadler||Chevrolet||142||6 laps||1|
|34||23||Spencer Gallagher||Chevrolet||140||8 laps|
|35||74||Mike Harmon||Dodge||135||12 laps|
|36||99||David Starr||Chevrolet||132||16 laps|
|37||89||Morgan Shepherd||Chevrolet||51||97 laps||2|
|38||13||Carl Long||Dodge||29||119 laps|
|39||93||Jeff Green||Chevrolet||8||140 laps|
|40||19||Matt Tifft||Toyota||1||147 laps |
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