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Sunday, 16 July 2017 23:27

Hamlin Wins First Race of the Season in New Hampshire

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Hamlin Wins First Race of the Season in New Hampshire Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing return to victory lane.

Denny Hamlin won the Overton’s 301 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Hamlin picked up the first victory of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing, which was in the midst of a 20-race winless streak.  Hamlin said he was happy to return to victory lane and lock himself into the Chase.

“It’s definitely been tough, but it’s not from a lack of trying,” Hamlin said.  “We’ve been getting better every week…but we definitely needed a win for the organization and for myself to just get some momentum going.”

Kyle Larson ran Hamlin down over the final run, cutting his lead to half a second.  Hamlin said he was concerned with Larson’s faster car coming from behind.

“I was just trying to do everything I could to keep pace,” Hamlin said.  “I really just ran a pace there which I felt comfortable with just in case we restarted; I didn’t want to burn the tires up.”

Larson had to start last after his car failed post-qualifying inspection, and he drove up through the field for the second week in a row.  Larson said he was fighting hard to catch Hamlin in the closing laps.

“Heck of a day for the Target team, can’t thank everybody enough,” Larson said.  “Wish we could have got a win, but a hard-fought effort all day.”

“We’ll keep fighting hard…if we could get to start up front and get some stage wins that would be nice.”

Unofficial results:

1. Denny Hamlin

2. Kyle Larson

3. Martin Truex Jr.

4. Matt Kenseth

5. Kevin Harvick

6. Daniel Suarez

7. Clint Bowyer

8. Kurt Busch

9. Brad Keselowski

10. Jimmie Johnson

11. Chase Elliott

12. Kyle Busch

13. Danica Patrick

14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

15. Austin Dillon

16. Ty Dillon

17. Jamie McMurray

18. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

19. Ryan Blaney

20. Trevor Bayne

21. AJ Allmendinger

22. Paul Menard

23. Landon Cassill

24. Aric Almirola

25. Chris Buescher

26. Michael McDowell

27. Ryan Newman

28. Kasey Kahne

29. David Ragan

30. Matt DiBenedetto

31. Corey LaJoie

32. Ryan Sieg

33. Jeffrey Earnhardt

34. Reed Sorenson

35. Gray Gaulding

36. Josh Bilicki

37. Joey Logano

38. Cole Whitt

39. Erik Jones

Bryan Nicodemus

My name is Bryan Nicodemus.  I'm from Pittsburgh, PA, and I am currently a sophomore at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.  I am majoring in Public Relations, and I hope to work in NASCAR someday.  Follow me on Twitter: @mmarkaholic55

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