July 13, 2024
NASCAR Cup Kansas: Hamlin wins after clashing with Larson

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)

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