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Race report

NASCAR Cup Kansas: Hamlin wins after clashing with Larson

Denny Hamlin clashed with Kyle Larson on the final lap to clinch the NASCAR Cup Series victory at Kanas Speedway.

With just under 25 of 267 laps remaining in Sunday’s NASCAR contest, Hamlin worked his way around William Byron and set his sights on leader 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 #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in the left-rear, which knocked Larson into a hit against the wall.

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

The win is the 49th of Hamlin’s NASCAR Cup career and ends a nearly year-long winless drought; his most recent victory coming last May in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.

After doing a celebratory burnout on the front straight following his win, Hamlin was booed by the crowd as he exited his #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to do his victory interview.

“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.”

Byron, who fell two laps down at one point in the race, rallied back to finish third, ahead of Bubba Wallace in fourth as Ross Chastain completed the top five to take the overall points lead.

Joey Logano took sixth ahead of Chase Elliott and winner last time out at Dover Martin Truex Jr, with Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon rounding out the top 10.

While Hamlin was celebrating his win, Noah Gragson grabbed Ross Chastain on pitroad and began pushing him repeatedly until Chastain struck Gragson in the face. The two were quickly separated by NASCAR officials.

Christopher Bell, points leader going into the Kansas race, crashed hard at Turn 2 in Stage 2 of the race to end his running prematurely.

NASCAR Cup - Kansas race results (267 laps)

Cla Driver Manufacturer Gap Interval
1 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota    
2 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 1.307 1.307
3 United States William Byron Chevrolet 4.301 2.994
4 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 4.677 0.376
5 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 5.473 0.796
6 United States Joey Logano Ford 5.988 0.515
7 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 6.426 0.438
8 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 7.444 1.018
9 United States Tyler Reddick Toyota 8.132 0.688
10 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 9.692 1.560
11 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 11.618 1.926
12 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 13.105 1.487
13 United States Aric Almirola Ford 13.329 0.224
14 United States A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 15.882 2.553
15 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 20.075 4.193
16 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 22.442 2.367
17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 22.905 0.463
18 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 27.861 4.956
19 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 28.601 0.740
20 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 29.626 1.025
21 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 30.387 0.761
22 United States Ty Dillon Chevrolet 30.615 0.228
23 United States J.J. Yeley Ford 1 Lap 1 Lap
24 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 1 Lap 0.802
25 Josh Berry Chevrolet 1 Lap 5.543
26 United States Michael McDowell Ford 1 Lap 4.972
27 United States Ryan Preece Ford 1 Lap 11.492
28 United States Brennan Poole Ford 3 Laps 2 Laps
29 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet 5 Laps 2 Laps
30 United States Harrison Burton Ford 6 Laps 1 Lap
31 United States Austin Cindric Ford 7 Laps 1 Lap
32 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 7 Laps 6.825
33 United States Josh Bilicki Chevrolet 7 Laps 10.897
34 Ty Gibbs Toyota 91 Laps 84 Laps
35 United States Kyle Busch Chevrolet 105 Laps 14 Laps
36 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 110 Laps 5 Laps

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