NASCAR Dover: Hamlin leads Joe Gibbs Racing 1-2-3 – NASCAR

Denny Hamlin led a 1-2-3 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing in the first race of the Dover NASCAR Cup Series double-header.

Hamlin had little competition as he took the first two stage victories, but fell back to fourth for the start of the final stage.

Team-mate Martin Truex Jnr picked up the race lead and spent the first half of the stage battling to stay ahead of Kyle Busch.

Hamlin made quick work of third-placed Brad Keselowski and was soon on the tail of the race leaders, taking second from Keslowski before the final pit stop of the race.

Truex had looked strong throughout the race, but began to complain about lack of grip after the final stop.

Despite the issues, he managed to keep Hamlin behind him until a small mistake eight laps before the chequered flag allowed Hamlin to come through.

Hamlin held the position to take the victory 1.179 seconds ahead of Truex, with Busch a further 5.8s back.

The race started with drama when, just seven laps in, Kurt Busch and Erik Jones came together and Busch was sent into the wall hard.

The Chip Ganassi run Chevrolet was severely damaged, while Jones and Alex Bowman also suffered smaller damage.

The caution that came from the incident was the only unscheduled caution.

Pole sitter Chase Elliot and Kevin Harvick both looked strong in the first stage, but dropped away from the lead battle early on.

Elliot had made a good start from pole and managed the restart after the first caution period, but suffered tyre rub on the restart after the competition caution and dropped back down the order.

Harvick’s issue came in the pits on his first stop of the day, when he was released with a loose left rear wheel nut and forced to quickly make a second stop.

Both spent the rest of the race working their way up through the order, eventually coming home fourth and fifth, with Harvick just ahead of Elliot.

Clint Bowyer took sixth ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who moves back into the playoff positions.

Joey Logano, Keslowski, and Ricky Stenhouse Jnr completed the top 10.

NASCAR Cup Series Dover Results – 311 laps

Pos Driver Team
1 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing
2 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing
3 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing
4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing
5 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports
6 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing
7 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
8 Joey Logano Team Penske
9 Brad Keselowski Team Penske
10 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing
11 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing
12 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing
13 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing
14 Ryan Blaney Team Penske
15 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing
16 Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing
17 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing
18 Ty Dillon Germain Racing
19 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing
20 Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing
21 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports
22 Christopher Bell Leavine Family Racing
23 Matt Kenseth Chip Ganassi Racing
24 John Hunter Nemechek Front Row Motorsports
25 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing
26 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports
27 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports
28 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports
29 Corey LaJoie Go FAS Racing
30 Daniel Suarez Gaunt Brothers Racing
31 J.J. Yeley Rick Ware Racing
32 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing
33 Quin Houff StarCom Racing
34 Timmy Hill MBM Motorsports
35 Joey Gase Petty Ware Racing
36 Brennan Poole Premium Motorsports
37 Garrett Smithley Tommy Baldwin Racing
38 B.J. McLeod BJ McLeod Motorsports
39 Reed Sorenson Spire Motorsports
40 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing

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