Bristol – Post Race Report
Late-Race Incident Relegates Hamlin to 28th-Place Finish at Bristol
Denny Hamlin finished 28th in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, after contact on the backstretch cut the right-front tire on the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota and triggered a multi-car incident with 52 laps remaining at the half-mile oval.
Hamlin started on the pole and led the first 22 laps of the 500-lap event won by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth. Differing pit strategies shook up the running order throughout the race, and the FedEx team spent the majority of the night in the top-10.
Running in that position on a late restart, Hamlin pulled alongside Brian Vickers on the backstretch looking to make up ground before the checkered flag. Vickers turned down and made contact with the #11, cutting the right-front tire and sending Hamlin into a pack of cars in Turn 3. The damage required a handful of pit stops for the remainder of the race for repairs. He finished 13 laps down.
"It was another frustrating night for the FedEx team," said Hamlin, following the race. "We had a pretty good car and were able to run in the top-five and lead some laps, but we were never able to restart on the outside and just got bottled up down at the bottom."
The reconfigured Bristol surfaced with progressive banking has made the high, outside groove the preferred line, giving an advantage to those cars restarting up top. Unfortunately for Hamlin, he was able to capitalize on an outside spot for just one restart Saturday night, forced to battle his way at the bottom.
Kasey Kahne finished second, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano.
NASCAR returns to action at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 1.