Motorsport News

Questions Answered After Denny Hamlin Wins at Kansas

NASCAR Cup Series

Who… should you be talking about after the race?

A dozen drivers led the field at Kansas Speedway, but only one could lead the final lap in Sunday’s AdventHealth 400. 

It came down to the kind of battle people talk about: one driver in a better car, one driver who drove a better race but whose car wasn’t quite as good. Better driver, better car, white flag lap. That’s the kind of finish that makes for an instant classic, and while this wasn’t quite that, it was exciting.

Denny Hamlin had the best car, and it showed when he moved into second on the final run, nearly two seconds behind leader Kyle Larson with the laps south of 40 and ticking down. Hamlin, in the faster car, ran Larson down fairly easily as Larson’s No. 5 got looser with each lap. Larson made it difficult; he had the advantage of being in the lead and he did everything right, taking Hamlin’s preferred lines away and setting up lapped cars. Even when his car got loose, he hung on and held Hamlin off.

But Hamlin had speed, and he was able to get to Larson one more time on the final lap. He made one move to side draft Larson, almost getting by, but Larson hung tough, and Hamlin’s next move was to lay his bumper to the No. 5, executing a bump-and-run to take the lead and the win as Larson gathered it in to finish second.

It’s Hamlin’s first win of 2023 and first since winning the Coca-Cola 600 in 2022. He becomes the third Joe Gibbs Racing driver to win this year and claim a playoff berth,

And don’t forget Martin Truex Jr. Truex claimed his first win if 2023 last weekend at Dover Motor Speedway, and this week, he was the class of the field for sections of the middle portion of the race, leading eight times for a total of 79 laps, second only to Larson’s 85 laps led. Truex’s biggest enemy was the rash of cautions early in the third stage; a tire gamble didn’t pay off, and he had one stop that was slightly slower than the cars he’d been racing. Truex still finished eighth.

What… is the big question leaving this race in the rearview?

For the second straight year, the spring race at Kansas proved to be one of the best races of the season so far, featuring a last-lap pass for the win as well as multiple lead changes throughout.

Kansas, once noted primarily for its lackluster racing, has been good enough to keep two races on a Cup schedule that has seen intermediate ovals fall off in favor of road courses and reconfigurations. In…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at …