NASCAR Kansas: Hamlin holds off Keselowski for second win at Kansas

Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin held on for his second consecutive NASCAR Cup victory at Kansas Speedway, having grabbed the lead with 13 of 267 laps remaining

NASCAR Kansas: Hamlin holds off Keselowski for second win at Kansas

Hamlin ended a streak of three sub-par finishes by passing Kevin Harvick for the lead with 13 laps to go and held off a furious challenge from Team Penske's Brad Keselowski to win Thursday night's Cup Series race at Kansas.

The win is Hamlin's fifth of the 2020 season - the most of any driver so far this year.

Hamlin had led the race following the break between Stages 2 and 3, as the lead-lap cars all pit with Hamlin the first to leave pit road thanks to a two-tyre stop.

But two pile-ups in the following laps - one involving Matt Kenseth and Bubba Wallace just four laps after the final stage restart, and another immediately after that caution period ended, Joey Logano quickly got off the gas - apparently with a flat tyre - on the backstretch.

Logano drifted back and into Harvick, which triggered a multi-car accident that also collected Matt DiBenedetto, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, William Byron and Austin Dillon.

This helped Hendrick Motorsport's Chase Elliott into lead ahead of Hamlin, and although the JGR Toyota driver overcame the #9 Chevrolet, a hefty impact for Ryan Preece against the infield wall brought the race back under a caution, before a brief red flag to clear the track of debris.

Hamlin remained among the front runners, despite a further flurry of cautions in the final 70 laps of the race, but was overcome in several changes for the lead - Byron, Keselowski, Bowman and Harvick all spent spells in charge of the race.

But on Lap 255, Hamlin went to the outside of Harvick and was able to clear him for the lead, and was followed through by Keselowski - who picked around Harvick and moved into the runner-up position.

Ultimately Hamlin retained the lead, resisting Keselowski's advances to claim his 42nd Cup Series victory.

Keselowski had claimed Stage 2 victory, stealing past Penske team-mate Ryan Blaney to do so, as Martin Truex Jr collected third place for his efforts.

Harvick, having been passed for supremacy late on, was fourth as Erik Jones clambered up to fifth, putting three JGR cars into the top five.

Aric Almirola, who has been a consistent fixture in the top 10 this season, claimed sixth place ahead of Kentucky winner Cole Custer.

Hendrick's Alex Bowman, Chip Ganassi Racing's Kurt Busch and Byron completed the top 10.

Kyle Busch was the last of the JGR cars in 11th, having taken Stage 1 victory from Hamlin.

Elliott was 12th at the line, while Ryan Blaney could manage no better than 20th.

Race results - 267 laps

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing 3h17m14.s
2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske 0.510s
3 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing 0.756s
4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing 3.365s
5 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing 3.593s
6 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing 6.937s
7 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing 7.777s
8 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports 9.951s
9 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing 10.217s
10 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports 10.742s
11 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing 10.901s
12 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports 11.940s
13 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing 12.126s
14 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing 13.999s
15 Ty Dillon Germain Racing 15.962s
16 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports 16.350s
17 Matt Kenseth Chip Ganassi Racing 16.812s
18 Daniel Suarez Gaunt Brothers Racing 24.262s
19 John Hunter Nemechek Front Row Motorsports 1 Lap
20 Ryan Blaney Team Penske 1 Lap
21 Corey LaJoie Go FAS Racing 1 Lap
22 J.J. Yeley Rick Ware Racing 2 Laps
23 Christopher Bell Leavine Family Racing 3 Laps
24 Quin Houff StarCom Racing 7 Laps
25 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing 7 Laps
26 Garrett Smithley Spire Motorsports 7 Laps
27 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing 16 Laps
28 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing 16 Laps
29 Joey Gase Petty Ware Racing 16 Laps
30 Brennan Poole Premium Motorsports 48 Laps
31 Reed Sorenson Tommy Baldwin Racing Electrical
32 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Accident damage
33 Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing Accident
34 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Accident
35 Joey Logano Team Penske Accident
36 Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing Accident
37 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Accident
38 Timmy Hill MBM Motorsports Electrical
39 B.J. McLeod BJ McLeod Motorsports Rear Gear
40 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Electrical

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