Hamlin’s car hooked up after the final pit stop Sunday, just as the sun finally broke through on an overcast afternoon, and he powered by Martin Truex Jr. for the lead. Hamlin then managed to hold off a late charge by Truex to win for the second time this season.
“Whether it was coincidence or not,” Hamlin said, “our car definitely felt better when the sun came out. I felt the car lost a lot of grip, but I guess a lot of guys did.”
I felt all day I was behind the 56 and his car looked so superior to the whole field, and we just needed some kind of change — the weather, an adjustment — to make something happen,” Hamlin said, smiling. “And we got both of them.”
It was Hamlin’s first career win at Kansas, and gave his Joe Gibbs Racing team some momentum heading to Richmond, where the Virginia driver has won twice in 12 career starts.
Jimmie Johnson was third for Hendrick Motorsports, which has failed in 14 tries to win the team’s milestone 200th race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne also finished in the top 10.
–Hamlin is starting to have a statement season. He won this year at Phoenix, started on the pole at California, and led 31 laps a couple weeks ago at Martinsville before finishing sixth. He was 12th last week at Texas.–
Video: Denny Hamlin gets by Martin Truex Jr. with 30 laps to go and fends off the MWR driver despite multiple last-ditch efforts to retake the lead.
Video: Denny Hamlin held off Martin Truex Jr. to grab his 2nd win of the season at Kansas.
Video: Denny Hamlin celebrates his second victory of the season and his first at Kansas Speedway.