Denny Hamlin nudges Kyle Larson into the wall on remaining lap to take lead and win at Kansas

Denny Hamlin bumped Kyle Larson off the lead heading onto the backstretch of the ultimate lap Sunday, giving him a transparent path to the end line at Kansas Speedway and ending his Hamlin’s 33-race winless drought within the NASCAR Cup Series.

Hamlin went to the entrance on the document thirty eighth lead change of a chaotic race at Kansas for his fourth victory on the monitor and the four-hundredth win general for Joe Gibbs Racing. It was Hamlin’s first journey to victory lane since final yr’s Coca-Cola 600.

“I used to be making an attempt to side-draft him and clipped his left rear,” Hamlin mentioned of the last-lap go. “I’m glad he was capable of end.”

Kyle Larson passes Noah Gragson

Kyle Larson (5) passes Noah Gragson as they head down the entrance straightaway throughout a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, May 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Larson had held Hamlin off for about 30 laps, regardless of preventing a quickly loosening automobile. Hamlin had pulled as much as his bumper with three laps to go however fell away crossing the start-finish line, then lined up for another strive that he made stick.

“I used to be actually free,” Larson mentioned. “He was capable of lastly get my inside off two. It appeared he was side-drafting me aggressively. I do not know if he lastly bought me turned sideways, however turned me into the surface wall and he bought the win.”

William Byron spent greater than 50 laps driving round two laps down earlier than rallying onto the lead lap, and even preventing for the lead down the stretch earlier than ending third. Bubba Wallace, who received the autumn race at Kansas, was fourth and Ross Chastain rounded out the highest 5.

Chastain, who has drawn the ire of many drivers this season along with his aggressiveness, discovered himself in one other heated confrontation on pit street after the race. He had gotten into Noah Gragson with about 60 laps to go and despatched him for a spin, and Gragson walked as much as the Trackhouse Racing driver afterward to make his displeasure recognized.

Chastain ultimately threw a proper hook, Gragson tried to throw a punch of his personal and crew members needed to separate them.

Ross Chastain battles

Ross Chastain (1) Kyle Larson (5) and Tyler Reddick (45) head down the entrance straightaway throughout a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, May 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)


“I’m sick and bored with it,” Gragson mentioned of Chastain’s driving type. “The man runs into everybody. When you have got guys like Chase Elliott and different guys telling you to beat his ass, everyone seems to be simply sick of him.”

Chastain accepted a number of the blame for the spin however did not have a lot to say concerning the punch.

“I bought tight off 4 for positive,” he mentioned. “Noah and I’ve a really comparable angle on the race monitor. We prepare collectively, we put together collectively, we all know each little bit about one another. I undoubtedly crowded him out of 4.”


Hamlin took the opening stage for his second of the season, and Martin Truex Jr. completed second after his win in final Monday’s rain-delayed race at Dover. The high 4 spots and 6 of the highest seven belonged to Toyota.

The second stage resulted in a multitude when a warning flew and the leaders pit with eight laps to go. Joey Logano took the lead, tying the Kansas Speedway document with the twenty sixth change within the race. And when the inexperienced flag dropped, Kyle Busch jammed up behind a four-wide transfer and went for a spin, bringing out one other warning and giving Logano the stage win.

Denny Hamlin in Turn 1

Denny Hamlin heads towards Turn 1 throughout a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, May 7, 2023.  (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)


Busch took umbrage over the radio with a number of drivers — together with Chastain — earlier than his crash. Afterward, he took intention on the efficiency of the Next Gen automobile, which he mentioned made it too tough to go.

“Not racing prefer it as soon as was,” Busch mentioned after dropping an on-air expletive. “You’re sooner than a man, you run him down three-tenths a lap and also you stall whenever you get there. Part of it is the automobile. They can aero block you, pinch you, deplete your tires and do every little thing else to carry their place and you then get handed from behind. Very irritating.”


Tyler Reddick’s automobile failed inspection twice on Saturday, ensuing within the ejection of automobile chief Michael Hobson, whereas Brennan Poole misplaced automobile chief Dave Jones when his automobile additionally failed twice. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. began on the again after having to vary his water pump gauge and Corey LaJoie joined him within the rear after making some pre-race changes.


Next week is the “Throwback Weekend” at Darlington, and it is more and more turn out to be a household affair. Elliott’s No. 9 automobile for Hendrick Motorsports will seem like his father Bill Elliott’s automobile from 2003; Ryan Blaney’s No. 12 can pay homage to father Dave Blaney’s previous dash automobile; and the No. 21 of Harrison Burton will seem like father Jeff Burton’s previous paint scheme.

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