Toyota driver Hamlin comes from two laps down for Bristol NASCAR win

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin recovered from being two laps down to beat Leavine Family Racing's Matt DiBenedetto in the NASCAR Cup race at Bristol

Toyota driver Hamlin comes from two laps down for Bristol NASCAR win

Hamlin had led the race in the opening stages before clipping Jimmie Johnson's Chevrolet as the Hendrick Motorsports' driver was collected when Austin Dillon suffered a puncture.

While Hamlin's fender damage was repaired, his race further unravelled when he suffered a loose wheel in stage two, pitting one lap prior to a caution period and subsequently dropping to two laps down.

He recovered to the lead lap with a free pass at the end of the stage, working his way back into the top 10 for the final restart with one fifth of the 500 lap race remaining.

While Hamlin surged through the field, DiBenedetto drove around the outside of points' leader Kyle Busch at Turn 3 and then passed Erik Jones as he slid into the wall at Turn 3, bagging the race lead.

Hamlin eventually caught DiBenedetto to set up a duel for the win in the final 20 laps, with the JGR driver making the race winning pass with just 12 laps to go to take his fourth win of the 2019 season.

DiBenedetto, who is searching for a 2020 Cup seat having announced on Thursday that he will not be retained by the Leavine Family Racing team, ended up second for his fifth top five of the season and beating his previous career best result of fourth.

Brad Keselowski finished third for Penske, ahead of JGR's Kyle Busch.

Wrong-footed in qualifying and lining up 31st on the grid, Busch also required a free pass in stage two in order to recover to the lead lap.

He gambled on strategy at the start of the final stage, seizing the lead by staying out.

A well timed caution at lap 362 when Alex Bowman suffered a puncture allowed Busch to avoid a green flag pitstop and retain his track position.

Hendrick Motorsports' Chase Elliott was fifth ahead of stage one winner Kyle Larson who drove his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet to sixth.

Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick briefly led the race in stage two before a transmission failure during a pitstop led to an extensive repair which removed him from contention.

Despite finishing in seventh place ahead of fellow playoff hopeful Daniel Suarez in eighth, Clint Bowyer has fallen below the playoff cut-line.

He failed to score points in the opening two stages while a strategic move from Suarez propelled him to bag nine additional points for finishing second in stage two.

Stage winner Kurt Busch and Suarez were among a number of drivers who opted to stay out when a late stage caution, triggered by a spinning Bowyer, led to a number of drivers diving into the pits.

Bowyer is now two points behind Suarez and below the cut-line in 17th place after being leap-frogged by his team-mate.

Seven-time champion Johnson has now slipped to 26 points adrift of playoff qualification after finishing in 19th, with only two races of the regular season remaining.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 2h49m09.s
2 Matt DiBenedetto Leavine Family Racing Toyota 500 0.502s
3 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 500 6.370s
4 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 6.434s
5 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500 6.714s
6 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 500 6.975s
7 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500 13.613s
8 Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 499 1 Lap
9 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 499 1 Lap
10 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 499 1 Lap
11 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford 499 1 Lap
12 Daniel Hemric Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 499 1 Lap
13 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 498 2 Laps
14 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 498 2 Laps
15 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 497 3 Laps
16 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 497 3 Laps
17 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 497 3 Laps
18 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 497 3 Laps
19 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 496 4 Laps
20 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 496 4 Laps
21 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 496 4 Laps
22 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 495 5 Laps
23 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 495 5 Laps
24 Corey LaJoie Go FAS Racing Ford 494 6 Laps
25 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 490 10 Laps
26 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 490 10 Laps
27 Matt Tifft Front Row Motorsports Ford 487 Suspension
28 J.J. Yeley Rick Ware Racing Ford 485 15 Laps
29 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 482 18 Laps
30 Quin Houff Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 478 22 Laps
31 Kyle Weatherman Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 474 26 Laps
32 B.J. McLeod Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet 410 Mechanical
33 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 391 Accident damage
34 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 387 113 Laps
35 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 373 Physical
36 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 371 Accident
37 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 368 Accident
38 Reed Sorenson Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 269 Clutch
39 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 244 Clutch
shares
comments
NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr and family survive fiery plane crash
Previous article

NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr and family survive fiery plane crash

Next article

Investigators reveal cause of ex-NASCAR driver Earnhardt's plane crash

Investigators reveal cause of ex-NASCAR driver Earnhardt's plane crash
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Plus

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Plus

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Plus

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his team-mate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Plus

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival Plus

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021