Hamlin wins, Larson wrecks in thrilling Kansas Cup finish

Hamlin wins, Larson wrecks in thrilling Kansas Cup finish

With just under 25 of 267 laps remaining in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race, Hamlin worked his way around William Byron and set his sights on leader Kyle Larson.

With five laps to go, Hamlin got side-by-side with Larson for the lead but was forced to back off. On the final lap, Hamlin again got near Larson off Turn 2 and nudged Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet in the left-rear, which knocked Larson into the wall.

Larson was able to keep going and Hamlin cleared him by 1.307 seconds to claim his first win of the 2023 season.

The win is the 49th of Hamlin’s career and ends a nearly year-long winless drought. His most recent victory came last May in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.


After doing a celebratory burnout on the frontstretch following his win, Hamlin was soundly booed by the crowd as he exited his No. 11 Toyota to do his victory interview with Fox Sports.

“I’m proud of this whole team. I got position on (Larson) there and I tried to side-draft him and clipped his left-rear,” Hamlin said. “I’m glad he was able to at least finish.”

William Byron, who fell two laps down at one point in the race, rallied back to finish third, Bubba Wallace was fourth and Ross Chastain completed the top five.

Rounding out the top-10 were Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon.

While Hamlin was celebrating on the frontstretch, Noah Gragson grabbed Ross Chastain on pit road and began pushing him repeatedly until Chastain struck Gragson in the face.

The two were quickly separated by NASCAR officials.

Stage 1

Hamlin passed Truex with eight of 80 laps remaining and held him off by 0.892 seconds to claim the Stage 1 win. Ty Gibbs finished third, Reddick fourth and Daniel Suarez completed the top five.

Byron, the pole-sitter, was penalized for speeding on pit road during a round of green-flag pit stops midway through the stage and fell a lap down. He hit the wall later in the stage and was forced to pit road for additional repairs.

Stage 2

Logano inherited the Stage 2 win as a caution came out with two of 85 laps remaining when Kyle Busch wrecked on the backstretch. Michael McDowell was credited with second, Gragson third, Erik Jones fourth and A.J. Allmendinger fifth.

During the caution for a multi-car incident on lap 148, Busch and Chastain door-slammed each other after contact previously on the track.

Christopher Bell, who had been in contention for the win, wrecked hard off Turn 2 late in the stage,…

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