New Hampshire NASCAR: Hamlin gets Joe Gibbs Racing's first 2017 win
|Sunday, July 16th 2017, 22:49 GMT|
Denny Hamlin secured Joe Gibbs Racing's first NASCAR Cup win of 2017 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, holding off from Kyle Larson's late charge to effectively secure a playoff place.
Hamlin - racing his back-up car after he shunted his Toyota in Friday practice - spent the majority of the 301-lap race fighting among the frontrunners, leading 54 laps in total.
With 35 laps to go, Hamlin took the lead from team-mate Matt Kenseth on the final restart.
Kenseth - who made a quick final pitstop by electing to take only two fresh tyres - was unable to hold off his team-mate, before dropping behind Ganassi driver Larson and Martin Truex Jr.
Larson started last after failing a post-qualifying technical inspection for the second race in a row and had made excellent progress through the field, hounding Hamlin in the last 10 laps.
Although Larson made up ground through traffic, Hamlin held on to secure his 30th Cup win and his first in 28 races.
Settling for second, Larson headed stage one winner Truex, who led the opening 75 laps with consummate ease.
Truex suffered a cut tyre towards the beginning of the final third, but serendipitously was able to stop at the start of the pit window, losing very little time as a result.
Kenseth, who will depart JGR at the end of the season, continued a good day for the team to finish fourth, ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick.
Daniel Suarez equalled his best result of his rookie Cup season with an excellent sixth place to beat Clint Bowyer, who headed fellow Ford runners Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski.
Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top 10, albeit after receiving a penalty on the first lap for jumping polesitter Truex before the line at the race start.
Kyle Busch - who won the second stage after pitting before the end of stage one - received two speeding penalties following his final two pitstops, and had to settle for 12th.
The race was briefly red-flagged during the second stage after the track started to break up at Turn 3, requiring an emergency fix before running was able to continue.
Aric Almirola, in his first race since damaging his T5 vertebra in his accident at Kansas, finished in 24th.
Joey Logano endured a miserable afternoon and, after being forced to pit with a rear suspension issue, was able to rejoin and finished 33 laps down.
RESULTS - 301 LAPS:
|1||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||3h00m36.s|
|2||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||0.509s|
|3||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Toyota||3.297s|
|4||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||4.442s|
|5||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||8.452s|
|6||Daniel Suarez||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||9.846s|
|7||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||10.618s|
|8||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||10.655s|
|9||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||11.451s|
|10||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||12.642s|
|11||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||12.856s|
|12||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||14.028s|
|13||Danica Patrick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||16.123s|
|14||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||17.665s|
|15||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||19.252s|
|16||Ty Dillon||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||20.356s|
|17||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||21.243s|
|18||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||23.992s|
|19||Ryan Blaney||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||25.260s|
|20||Trevor Bayne||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||25.394s|
|21||A.J. Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||26.348s|
|22||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||27.228s|
|23||Landon Cassill||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||29.527s|
|24||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||30.274s|
|25||Chris Buescher||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||1 Lap|
|26||Michael McDowell||Leavine Family Racing||Chevrolet||1 Lap|
|27||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||1 Lap|
|28||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||1 Lap|
|29||David Ragan||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||1 Lap|
|30||Matt DiBenedetto||Go FAS Racing||Ford||2 Laps|
|31||Corey LaJoie||BK Racing||Toyota||3 Laps|
|32||Ryan Sieg||BK Racing||Toyota||3 Laps|
|33||Jeffrey Earnhardt||Circle Sport / TMG||Chevrolet||4 Laps|
|34||Reed Sorenson||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet||5 Laps|
|35||Gray Gaulding||Premium Motorsports||Toyota||6 Laps|
|36||Josh Bilicki||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet||11 Laps|
|37||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||32 Laps|
|38||Cole Whitt||TriStar Motorsports||Chevrolet||Engine|
|39||Erik Jones||Furniture Row Racing||Toyota||Accident|
|1||Martin Truex Jr.||758|
|15||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||441|
|21||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||351|