Denny Hamlin Breaks Winless Drought With Last Lap Tap And Pass At Kansas

Denny Hamlin celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Advent Health 400 at Kansas Speedway Sunday. (Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Denny Hamlin didn’t tap-dance around the tap that helped him to a much-needed victory at Kyle Larson’s expense in Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.

On the final lap, after an intense chase that began with a restart on Lap 221 of 267, Hamlin closed in on Larson’s Chevrolet and further loosened an already loose race car. Slight contact from the right front of Hamlin’s Toyota turned Larson into the outside wall as Hamlin streaked past and took the checkered flag.

Larson recovered to finish second, 1.307 seconds behind the winner, who ended a 33-race drought with his fourth victory at Kansas and exited his car at the finish line to a chorus of boos from fans who didn’t like the way he had won the race. 

“Yeah, I got position on him there, tried to side-draft him and clipped his left rear,” said Hamlin, who collected his 49th career victory, tying him with Tony Stewart for 15th most all-time. “But I’m glad he was able to at least finish. 

“Credit to my FedEx team, though. Four hundred wins for Joe Gibbs Racing (203 in the NASCAR Cup Series, 197 in the Xfinity Series)—it’s such a great accomplishment for them.”

Hamlin’s last-lap pass for the win was the first at Kansas. The race featured 37 lead changes among 12 drivers, the most lead changes in NASCAR history in a 400-mile race on a 1.5-mile intermediate speedway. 

Larson led seven times for a race-high 85 laps that included a stretch of 46 straight before Hamlin grabbed the win on Lap 267.

“I haven’t seen a replay,” Larson said, “but obviously, he was side-drafting really aggressively, like he would. He was touching me, it felt like, and it had me really out of control. I we wish we could…” 

As Larson uttered those words, his attention turned to a confrontation between fifth-place finisher Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson, who swapped sheet metal at least twice during the race. The drivers took a couple of swings at each other before being restrained.

“I got tight off of (Turn) 4, for sure,” said Chastain, who ran Gragson up toward the wall during the final stage. “Noah and I have a very similar attitude on the racetrack. We train together, we prepare together, and we know every little thing about each other.

“Yeah, I definitely crowded him up off of 4, and he took a swipe at us in 3, and came down and grabbed ahold of me (after the race). A very big man once told me we have a no-push policy here at Trackhouse (Racing).” 

Pole winner William Byron ran third, after recovering from a speeding penalty that put him two laps down. Bubba Wallace passed Chastain with 15 laps left to secure the fourth position. Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon completed the top 10.

The fact that Larson was able to contend for the win at all was a reflection of his talent, given thorny circumstances that set him back in the early going. In a three-way battle for the lead before the race was five laps old, Reddick tried to shoehorn his No. 45 Toyota between Larson, the leader, and Ross Chastain, then running third.

But Reddick tapped the rear of Larson’s Chevrolet and sent the No. 5 spinning toward the apron. Larson avoided contact with the wall and recovered to reassume the lead during the second stage. 

As Hamlin’s crew chief Chris Gabehart noted after the race, “Denny Hamlin just beat the most talented race car driver in the world. What does that say?”

Consecutive wrecks late in Stage 2 scrambled the running order and handed the stage win to Logano, who had stayed out under the sixth caution for Christopher Bell’s wreck on the backstretch on Lap 159. 

As Chastain slowed slightly on the backstretch, Bell steered his No. 20 Toyota to the inside, then moved up the track and clipped Chastain’s Chevrolet. Bell spun into the wall and damaged his car beyond repair. 

“Just tried to get a little too aggressive on the side-draft, got into the 1 (Chastain) and spun out,” Bell said succinctly after leaving the infield care center.

At least he didn’t blame Chastain.

NASCAR Cup Series Race – AdventHealth 400

Kansas Speedway

Kansas City, Kansas

Sunday, May 7, 2023

          1. (8)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267.

          2. (2)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267.

          3. (1)  William Byron, Chevrolet, 267.

          4. (17)  Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 267.

          5. (3)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 267.

          6. (6)  Joey Logano, Ford, 267.

          7. (21)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 267.

          8. (4)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267.

          9. (5)  Tyler Reddick, Toyota, 267.

          10. (11)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.

          11. (13)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267.

          12. (33)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 267.

          13. (18)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 267.

          14. (27)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 267.

          15. (9)  Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 267.

          16. (10)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 267.

          17. (14)  Chris Buescher, Ford, 267.

          18. (30)  Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 267.

          19. (20)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267.

          20. (24)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 267.

          21. (19)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 267.

          22. (26)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.

          23. (35)  JJ Yeley(i), Ford, 266.

          24. (32)  Todd Gilliland, Ford, 266.

          25. (29)  Josh Berry(i), Chevrolet, 266.

          26. (23)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 266.

          27. (28)  Ryan Preece, Ford, 266.

          28. (34)  Brennan Poole(i), Ford, 264.

          29. (22)  Noah Gragson #, Chevrolet, 262.

          30. (25)  Harrison Burton, Ford, 261.

          31. (15)  Austin Cindric, Ford, 260.

          32. (31)  Chase Briscoe, Ford, 260.

          33. (36)  Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, 260.

          34. (7)  Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, Accident, 176.

          35. (16)  Kyle Busch, Chevrolet, Accident, 162.

          36. (12)  Christopher Bell, Toyota, Accident, 157.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  117.564 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 24 Mins, 24 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.307 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  11 for 57 laps.

Lead Changes:  37 among 12 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   W. Byron 1-2;R. Chastain 3-4;T. Reddick 5-27;M. Truex Jr. 28-39;C. Bell 40-42;M. McDowell 43;C. LaJoie 44-46;D. Hamlin 47-48;M. Truex Jr. 49-71;D. Hamlin 72-83;M. Truex Jr. 84;D. Hamlin 85-88;M. Truex Jr. 89-93;D. Hamlin 94;M. Truex Jr. 95-97;D. Hamlin 98-109;M. Truex Jr. 110;B. Wallace 111-112;R. Chastain 113;B. Wallace 114-117;M. Truex Jr. 118-140;K. Larson 141-154;B. Wallace 155;K. Larson 156;B. Wallace 157-158;J. Logano 159-166;K. Larson 167-169;D. Hamlin 170;K. Larson 171-182;D. Hamlin 183;K. Larson 184-186;C. Elliott 187-191;M. Truex Jr. 192-202;K. Larson 203-208;C. LaJoie 209-212;W. Byron 213-220;K. Larson 221-266;D. Hamlin 267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Larson 7 times for 85 laps; Martin Truex Jr. 8 times for 79 laps; Denny Hamlin 8 times for 34 laps; Tyler Reddick 1 time for 23 laps; William Byron 2 times for 10 laps; Bubba Wallace 4 times for 9 laps; Joey Logano 1 time for 8 laps; Corey LaJoie 2 times for 7 laps; Chase Elliott 1 time for 5 laps; Ross Chastain 2 times for 3 laps; Christopher Bell 1 time for 3 laps; Michael McDowell 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 11,19,54,45,99,20,23,12,1,5

Stage #2 Top Ten: 22,34,42,43,16,17,3,77,5,11


  1. Good to see Dale Sr. lives on with the moves by Hamlin and Chastain.

    When Dale Sr. did this sort of thing, fans loved it. Love it today.

  2. Henry Lecomte says

    When are you going to Show up Ryan I just feel like he has the equipment now he needs to show up. Period

  3. The Fan, man. says

    Wonder if our beloved racing will survive the Bidens sale of America to China…. Get to the Track fans, when we are flying the flag of China over the Whitehouse you might not be able to go to the track. Long live the USA and Modifieds.

  4. The Fan, man. says

    Forbes Magazine – April 10, 2023
    “During the four years that Donald Trump occupied the White House, the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China paid him an estimated $7 million to rent space in Trump Tower. Despite the extraordinary circumstances of the deal—involving the government of China, the president of the United States, and millions of dollars—the Trump family portrayed the agreement as a standard business transaction. … Lending records show that that the Chinese bank abandoned Trump Tower around the time Trump left the White House.”

    Associated Press – Nov. 6, 2018
    SHANGHAI (AP) — The Chinese government granted 18 trademarks to companies linked to President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump over the last two months, Chinese public records show, raising concerns about conflicts of interest in the White House.
    In October, China’s Trademark Office granted provisional approval for 16 trademarks to Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, bringing to 34 the total number of marks China has greenlighted this year, according to the office’s online database. The new approvals cover Ivanka-branded fashion gear including sunglasses, handbags, shoes and jewelry, as well as beauty services and voting machines.

    Reuters – Feb. 10, 2022
    A China-based financier, once reprimanded by U.S. regulators and barred from taking his company public, played a bigger role than is publicly known in the shell company that agreed to merge with former President Donald Trump’s new social media venture, Reuters has learned.
    Little has been disclosed about the involvement of the financier, Abraham Cinta, and the Shanghai-based investment bank he leads, ARC Group Ltd, in the shell company’s regulatory filings. ARC is listed as “financial advisor” to Digital World Acquisition Corp, the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that signed a deal in October to merge with Trump’s new media platform. No details are provided in the filings other than that ARC could help the SPAC with contacts in government and the business world, as well as access to a “quality deal pipeline.”

  5. Stuart A Fearn says

    some people are so pathetic. Leave the politics and home you anonymous captain keyboard clown, no one wants to hear it on raceday CT.
    Give it a rest

  6. The Fan, man. says

    LOL….Hey Doug…The Real Fan man would never leave such a Long post…. That is the M.O of we all know who….. TRUMP 2024

  7. Stuart A Fearn,
    Thank you for posting that. I try to let this forum be a free-for-all somewhat in regards to not having a heavy hand as far as declining/denying comments, but I’m getting to the point where I think I may have to start drowing the line with certain matters/topics.

  8. Well that’s just insulting. I may bring politics into a thread but at the very least I try to be cleaver or find a little humor in it. Like mentioning old politicians in relation to aging racers without advocating any political views right or left. What’s up above is too obvious.
    “no one wants to hear it on raceday CT”. Maybe no one that counts but some such as myself find it interesting if it’s relevant and has an interesting twist. The simple, thoughtless declarations and talking point tug of war not so much.
    About this time next year we’ll be knees deep in a presidential election. In all likelihood we’ll see political statements on race cars like in 2020. The pandemic affected racing all fair game in a racing forum but the politics of the pandemic washed through threads as well. The merging of racing and polititics at some point will happen and will filter into this forum so why not be prepared.
    If the rule is no politics then that’s the rule but it’s not a simple one to moderate. Mr. Fearn himself has taken a shot or two as I recall. One sympathetic to the “Let’s go Brandon” deal he seemed to think was the cats pajamas at the time.
    I’m going to reiterate my previous suggestion that a separate place for political commentary be established if possible by the forum contests. Call it the “Sewer”, “Political Paddock”, whatever. That will guarantee no one like me tries to sneak in a political Mickey from time to time that offends the racing purists. Some of which are not always as pure as they would like to believe if the politics is the kind they favor.
    Give it some thought.

  9. Fast Eddie says

    Thank-you Stuart and Shawn! One of the things racing does for me is it allows me a temporary escape from the politcal crap and various stresses from the real world. There’s more that enough political sites and forums anyone can go to without inflicting politics here!

  10. Suitcase Jake says


  11. Doug,
    Don’t take offense. Beyond moderating the comments, I always try to be as invisble as possible here and let you guys determine how play is going in the sandlot. But apparently a couple new trolls just want go a little crazy. We’ll see how things go I suppose. I hate putting guard rails up, but unfortunately sometimes the trolls make it so you have to. Or I may look into alternatives like you suggested.

  12. No, no, no…. please don’t do that. That is, do not create a page for crazy non-racing talk. It’s like an Irish bar, people get stinking drunk, then spill out onto the streets ruining everything for anybody near them.

    There are a few new trolls taking things to new levels, just MAGAts being deplorables, or vice-versa, I guess. These new trolls are just too stupid to engage. Doug, don’t take that as a compliment. Let these new trolls go to Facebook or some other site. RaceDayCT is a high-class joint.

    This site has been remarkable, in that it appears that Shawn does leave posters to pretty much self moderate. Now I don’t know how much posting Shawn does not publish.

    I’ve played whack-a-troll quite often, and those posters rarely pop up anymore, or are operating under new identities and have modified their behaviors.

    It’s fun to use examples or analogies to make a point, or comparison, even if it is the illegal, stupid, hypocritical behavior of elected officials.

  13. Spot on Eddie.

  14. “One of the things racing does for me is it allows me a temporary escape from the politcal crap and various stresses from the real world. ”

    Who can disagree with the motivation behind that certainly not I. But that’s not the reality. The reality is what we’ve seen for a decade plus now. All sorts of commentary happens that’s not race related not just political views. Like personal insults and petty squabbles for instance. Forums of any sort are not places for idealists. They’re places where you put something out there or read something written and take your chances. There’s princes to be found in the forum for sure you just have to be willing to kiss a lot of frogs to find them.
    I’d suggest we keep and open mind on the “Political Paddock” I’m suggesting. We’ve seen football references disappear from race related articles now appearing in the space for Football contests. Football is not as divisive as politics but it can be like when someone is calling your favorite team the “patsies” repeatedly. Thing about the football section is it’s less annoying since it’s in the context of strictly football and only people that understand football tend to be in that space.
    Whether you think politics should be in comments or not won’t matter. Like the affects of climate change you can say anything you like about the topic but it’s going to affect you in any event. With regard to political climate change maybe building a storm cellar is something worth considering.

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