Denny Hamlin rallied back out of 2 pit road penalties afterward used pit strategy to take the lead late and held off Clint Bowyer to win Sunday’S-O ’Reilly 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Hamlin was penalized after for perusing and a while for an uncontrolled scooter but regained the lead with 11 of 334 laps staying by using a fuel-only prevent in his final green-flag pitstop of their race.
He emerged with an even more than two-second lead over Bowyer and was never seriously challenged for the lead.
The win is Hamlin’so moment at the NASCAR Cup Series this season — he won the Daytona opener — and the 33rd of his career.
Asked how he was able to find the win with 2 pit road penalties, Hamlin said,”And I chased that the entrance to pit road under green. Only a quick vehicle. I had a quick car which will pass anyone in the area. That usually means a lot.
“It definitely an alternative form of racing, with the draft and everything and attempting to get out of everybody else’s wake. I am proud of the team, everybody else which will help put this race car on the racetrack. Joe Gibbs, J.D. Gibbs, still thinking about his heritage.
“When we got front we were able to take away out of front a bit. We just had a super fast car and that’s why we won. We tried everything we could to throw away it but we found a way to win.”
Rounding out the Top Ten were William Byron, Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch, who neglected to complete the Tripleheader sweep after winning the Xfinity and Truck races this weekend.
After the break between Stage 3 and 2, Ryan Blaney chose not to pit and remained in the lead, while Kyle Busch was the first off pit road requiring fuel only.
Both the Hamlin and Harvick were penalized for wheels that were uncontrolled during their pitstops and both had to restart from the rear of the field.
On Lap 195, Paul Menard has been forced to pit for a vibration. He had been running as high as third at the last stage. On Lap 205, Kurt Busch was forced to pit under green for a vibration. Both had difficulties with their right-front tire.
Blaney made his way down pit road on Lap 218, that appeared to trigger a round of green-flag stops. Suarez and Alex Bowman were the next drivers to create their stops.
On Lap 227, smoke pumped out of Blaney’s No. 1 2 Ford and he took his car down pit road where his team went to work under the hood. “I don’t understand, it just blew up,” Blaney said over his team army.
When the cycle of green-flag ceases was complete on Lap 241, Suarez cycled back into the lead, followed by Kyle Busch, Bowyer, Almirola and Byron.
On Lap 246, Kyle Busch used a choice out of a secondhand automobile and got around Suarez to reclaim the top spot.
He did actually suffer some damage to the right-rear of his No. 8 Chevrolet.
Many lead-lap cars chosen to pit but Almirola, Jones and Chase Elliott chosen to stay out. The race returned to green on Lap 261.
Jones captured the lead on the backstretch on the resume as Kyle Busch moved into instant.
Kyle Busch went to the inside of Jones about the frontstretch to reclaim the lead with 70 laps to move.
Hamlin moved into instant and Almirola third as Busch dropped to fourth.
Busch struck the wall again with 53 laps remaining and has been forced to go to pit road under green for fixes. His bid for a third consecutive win on the weekend appeared to be over.
On Lap 295, Elliott chose to create his own final green-flag stop of their race. A lot of others soon followed.
With 30 laps remaining, Hamlin stayed outside and had not yet pit. About several cars had to pit once more for fuel.
When the cycle of stops was completed Lap 322, Hamlin, that shot fuel only on his last stop, moved into the lead followed by Bowyer, Suarez, Jones and Byron.