Last lap bump-and-run leads to Hamlin’s victory Sunday at Kansas Speedway

Hamlin’s first win of 2023 is the 49th of his Cup career and the 400thb for Joe Gibbs Racing

KANSAS CITY, KS – The stars were out at Kansas Speedway Sunday afternoon and two of NASCAR’S biggest stars staged a battle for the ages.

Denny Hamlin made the first-ever last-lap pass for the win at the Speedway, beating Kyle Larson in the Advent Health 400 Cup Series race.

It was Hamlin’s first win of the year, the 49th of his career (tying him with Tony Stewart on the all-time win list), and 400th career Cup win for Joe Gibbs Racing.

The victory broke a 33-race winless streak and gave Hamlin his fourth win on the Kansas track, the most of any Cup racer.

Denny Hamlin crosses the finish line to win Sunday’s NASCAR Advent Health 400 Cup Series race.
Photo by David Barks

Larson led a race-high 85 laps over the Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval and was in command when Hamlin pushed past Larson’s Hendrick Chevrolet teammate William Byron for second place with 28 laps remaining in the 267-lap race.

Hamlin stayed less than a car length behind as he chased Larson down the stretch.

He made the winning move on the final lap when he tapped Larson’s bumper, sending Larson into the wall, and sped past him to the checkered flag.

“I got position on him there, was trying to side-draft him but clipped his left rear. Glad he was able to at least finish,” said Hamlin, who led 34 laps in the race. “Proud of my FedEx team, though. 400 wins now for Joe Gibbs Racing, just such a great accomplishment for them.”

Larson was able to maintain control, finishing in second place, 1.307 seconds behind.

“I was a little bit loose at the end and he was a little bit better than me,” said Larson. “I’m not sure of he touched me but I went into the wall.”

Pole-sitter William Byron was third followed by Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, and Austin Dillon.

Larson completed a remarkable comeback just to be in position for the win.

Starting next to Byron on the front row, Larson’s car was hit in the rear by Tyler Reddick on the sixth lap, spinning Larson and sending him to the back of the field.

Larson raced back into the top 10 on lap 65 and took the lead for the first time on lap 141.

William Byron leads the field at the start of Sunday’s NASCAR Advent Health 400 Cup Series race.
Photo by David Barks

Byron, meanwhile, was having his own troubles.

He was hit with a pit road speeding penalty, putting him one lap down, and lost another lap later after scraping the wall.

But he kept going, moving back to the lead lap, and cracking the top 10 again on lap 188.

“It was a really strong effort by the team,” said Byron. “My mistakes cost us. The speeding penalty and I actually hit the wall twice but I’m really proud of the way my team was able to keep me going. Overall, I’m really happy with our effort.”

Truex was up with the leaders the entire race, leading 79 laps before finally settling for eighth place.

After the race, Noah Gragson took issue with Chastain’s driving and started a fight on pit road. Gragson got in a couple punches (Chastain refused to engage in battle) before NASCAR security stepped in.

The Cup Series’ next race is the Goodyear 400, Sunday at Darlington Raceway with all three national series competing as part of NASCAR’s Official Throwback Weekend.

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