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Sports Hamlin holds off Elliott, takes first NASCAR win in Vegas

07:26  27 september  2021
07:26  27 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Denny Hamlin took the lead with two of 75 laps remaining and held on for the Stage 1 victory at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. On a restart with three to go, Hamlin lined up fourth but grabbed the lead from Brad Keselowski a lap later and held off Chase Elliott for the stage victory. Hamlin began the race fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings and in danger of missing a chance to compete for the series championship next weekend at Homestead, Fla. Kyle Busch finished third, Joey Logano fourth and Kyle Larson completed the top-five. Kyle Busch, who started on the pole, grabbed the early lead.

Chase Elliott carried the organization’s banner in the opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 12, securing a second-place finish behind race winner Denny Hamlin as his teammates scrambled for the running order’s remnants. Elliott made up ground in short spurts near But a different pit-stop strategy through the second stage left him off the lead lap, needing the wave-around rule to put his No. 5 Chevrolet back into contention. He was only able to muster a 10th-place result, but holds a 57-point edge over the elimination line thanks to his Stage 1 win at Vegas and his

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Turns out 21 was Denny Hamlin's lucky number in Vegas.

  Hamlin holds off Elliott, takes first NASCAR win in Vegas © Provided by The Canadian Press

After finally getting his first career victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on his 21st try, Hamlin is on an undeniable hot streak he just might ride all the way to his long-sought first NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Hamlin finally broke through in Vegas on Sunday night, holding off Chase Elliott and kicking off the second round of the playoffs with his second win in September.

Three weeks after Hamlin got his first victory of the season in the playoff opener at Darlington, he led 137 laps in Vegas in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, including the final 39.

Elliott and Harvick add fiery feud to NASCAR's playoffs

  Elliott and Harvick add fiery feud to NASCAR's playoffs Chase Elliott, according to Kevin Harvick, doesn't race very smart. In fact, moving forward in NASCAR's playoffs, Harvick plans to run all over the reigning Cup champion. Those were the angry words Harvick had for Elliott after Saturday night's race at Bristol Motor Speedway, where a feud no one saw coming took center stage. Elliott is NASCAR's most popular driver and the Cup champion doesn't really make waves on the race track. He's had hisThose were the angry words Harvick had for Elliott after Saturday night's race at Bristol Motor Speedway, where a feud no one saw coming took center stage.

Hamlin wins , Elliott advances in double overtime at Kansas. Hamlin led the way on the restart to the second overtime and quickly put some distance between himself and Elliott . After taking the white flag, Elliott tried furiously to get alongside Hamlin by Hamlin edged him by 0.128 seconds to win Sunday’s Hollywood 400. The win is Hamlin ’s fifth of the 2019 season and 36th of his career and second at Kansas.

Things might calm down this week at Vegas , of all places, but buckle up after that for Talladega and Charlotte's Roval in the NASCAR playoffs. Oh, and if Chase Elliott is going to repeat as champ, he needs his spotter to keep tabs on Kevin Harvick. Normally, after a few hours, and certainly after a few days, things tend to cool off , especially between guys who don’t have a lot of dirty laundry hanging between their windows .

After a season of frustrating results and a 17-year career filled with championship near-misses, Hamlin has emerged as a serious contender for the title once again. He is just 14 points behind Kyle Larson in the points standings, and he'll have no pressure heading into the high-stakes upcoming races at Talladega and the Charlotte Roval with his ticket already punched for the third round by this Vegas victory.

“It feels so good to win in Vegas,” Hamlin said. “Last couple of times I’ve been close, but just didn’t have the right brakes. Great to hold those guys off.”

The 41-year-old veteran had struggled on this 1 1/2-mile track for most of his career, with just two top-five finishes in his first 18 starts. He has put together three consecutive top-four finishes since then in Vegas, capped by this victory under the lights and fireworks.

Denny Hamlin winning early, often in Cup Series playoff race

  Denny Hamlin winning early, often in Cup Series playoff race LAS VEGAS (AP) — Denny Hamlin will reach the third round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs next month having faced the make-or-break pressure of the postseason only twice. Ending the first race of each postseason round in victory lane can do wonders for the blood pressure of a driver and his team, because every winner clinches a spot in the following round. Hamlin won three weeks ago at Darlington to open the playoffs, and then he did it again Sunday night at Las Vegas in the second-round opener. He is the first driver to win the first race in each of the first two rounds since NASCAR introduced this playoff format in 2014.

Denny Hamlin holds off Chase Elliott at Homestead for third win of 2020. Read full article. Oops! It’s the third win of the season for Hamlin and his second since NASCAR resumed its season during the coronavirus pandemic. Hamlin is also the first driver to three wins in the Cup Series in 2020.

Denny Hamlin held off reigning Cup Series champion Joey Logano and teammate Kyle Busch to win the 61st running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday evening. It's the second win of Hamlin 's career in The Great American Race. Hamlin won a race that, for the most part, was a clean one until chaos ensued with less than 10 laps to go. Hamlin was coming off his first winless season and faced pressure within Joe Gibbs Racing with a new crew chief and Christopher Bell rising through the ranks. That didn't phase Hamlin , as he blocked both Logano and Busch in overtime to take the checkered flag.

“There was a point where I never thought I’d even sniff a victory here,” Hamlin said. “The team has found a setup that has worked with my driving style. The team goes to work to give me what I need to go fast.”

Elliott closed in on Hamlin in the final five laps as Hamlin's performance appeared to decline, cutting the gap to a half-second with two laps to go — but the defending Cup Series champion couldn't close the remaining distance, finishing second in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

“We were really close,” Elliott said. “Just not quite close enough. Denny did a good job controlling the gap to me. I feel like we’ve been performing at a really nice level the last four or five weeks. Just haven’t had the results to show for it."

Kyle Busch finished third on his hometown track, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney as the 12 remaining playoff drivers began the second round and the final seven races of the season. Hamlin, Busch and Truex put Joe Gibbs Racing in three of the top four spots.

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This was the first NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway and the first time the city of Nashville has hosted a Cup Series race since 1984. While the race for first was largely in hand for most of the day, the fight for second place kept changing. Kyle Busch was a major contender for a MORE: Watch NASCAR races live with fuboTV (7-day free trial). NASCAR at Nashville results. Kyle Larson easily picked up the win Sunday, leading an overwhelming majority of the race and only losing Stage 1 when Chase Elliott made a last-minute decision not to pit and instead keep driving during a caution.

Tensions are running high at Las Vegas in the South Point 400. After infuriating Kyle Busch last weekend, Logano got under Chase Elliott 's skin on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas during the NASCAR at Darlington results: Denny Hamlin holds off Kyle Larson to earn spot in Round of 12.

“I just can’t think of a better place to win,” said Chris Gabehart, Hamlin’s crew chief. “Certainly our team has been really capable all year long. Every metric other than the win column has been astounding for our team. It’s really been our best year together thus far. You stay up front as much as we have, the wins are going to finally come. They’re coming at the right time."

Larson finished 10th on the track where he won in March. Kevin Harvick, who scrapped with Elliott over tactics last week at Bristol, finished ninth.

Larson won the first stage, but Hamlin took the second when Larson needed gas and pitted with eight laps to go. Larson got stuck in the midfield in the final stage while struggling with his tires.

NO DRAMA

Harvick wasn't really in position for any payback on Elliott after the younger driver deliberately slowed Harvick at Bristol last week, ruining his chances of catching Larson. Harvick and Elliott had a vocal public disagreement after that race.

Harvick was still sore about it in Vegas, calling it "probably the maddest I’ve ever been.”

NASCAR charges into Talladega for unpredictable playoff race

  NASCAR charges into Talladega for unpredictable playoff race TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Denny Hamlin is already through to the third round of NASCAR's playoffs with nothing to worry about at Talladega Superspeedway. His championship rivals? Not so much. NASCAR's challenging second round of the playoffs — three wildly different circuits — moves Sunday to the behemoth 2.66-mile Alabama superspeedway where luck is as important as skill. The white-knuckled race falls between Las Vegas, a traditional 1.5-mile speedway where Hamlin won last week, and the twists and turns of the hybrid oval/road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway next week.

“It was like speaking to a 9-year-old,” Harvick said of his argument with Elliott. “It's identical. It’s 100% the exact same scenario. They get hung up on one thing and you can’t speak to them about the broader picture about the whole thing works."

LONG TIME COMING

Hamlin has made the playoffs 15 times, but he came closest to a championship in 2010. He won eight races that year and took a points lead into the season finale at Homestead, only to end up second behind Jimmie Johnson with a 14th-place race finish.

BUSCH BOYS

Kyle Busch was strong in his 600th career Cup Series start, and older brother Kurt finished eighth in his 750th career start. The Las Vegas natives have been racing this track on the far north end of Las Vegas Boulevard since it reopened as a 1 1/2-mile oval in 1996.

Only Richard Petty made 600 starts at a younger age than Kyle Busch in NASCAR history.

BIG HIT

Joey Gase went to a hospital after a violent one-car crash 92 laps in. His left rear tire flew off the car, sending him high into the outside wall off Turn 2.

OH BABY

Chase Briscoe finished 14th after a long day for a soon-to-be father. He got to Vegas on a commercial flight about three hours before the race after staying behind in Charlotte with his wife, who is due to give birth soon. Briscoe nearly didn't make it to Nevada at all because of a flight cancellation, but American Airlines came through with a backup plane just in time.

UP NEXT: The NASCAR Cup Series playoff race continues at Talladega next Sunday.

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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press

Larson wins Charlotte as Elliott and Harvick continue feud .
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Larson rallied from early electrical issues Sunday to win for the seventh time this season and storm into the third round of NASCAR's playoffs. Larson's victory on The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway ended a topsy-turvy day for Hendrick Motorsports. Larson and reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott moved into the round of eight, but Alex Bowman and William Byron were eliminated and Elliott was nearly sabotaged by a vengeful Kevin Harvick. Harvick laid in wait to deliver his payback on Elliott for Elliott costing him a win at Bristol three weeks ago.

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