Hamlin Dominant in First Half of Dover Doubleheader

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Denny Hamlin dominated the Drydene 311 in the first half of NASCAR’s doubleheader from Dover International Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

Hamlin led a race-high 115 laps throughout the race, but had to fight his way back to the lead in the closing laps.  Hamlin was second as his teammate Martin Truex Jr. struggled in lapped traffic.

Hamlin took the lead with less than 10 laps to go, and he pulled away from Truex over the final eight laps.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

After winning his sixth race of the season, Hamlin said he was happy to get back to victory lane after falling short the past few weeks.

“I’ve been running down the leaders these last few weeks but I haven’t been able to get there,” Hamlin said.  “Proud of this whole FedEx team; this Camry was fast today.  Just unbelievable at how good it was.”

The victory was Hamlin’s first at Dover, and he said his team is locked in as the Playoffs are set to begin in two weeks.

“Working as hard as I ever have, and I can’t complain about anything right now,” Hamlin said.  “I’ve just got faith when it comes down to it.  On that last run, when he says ‘go get it,’ I go get it.”

Truex inherited the lead after pit stops cycled around, but he was unable to hold off Hamlin after getting hung up in lapped traffic.

Truex said the combination of lapped traffic and his car’s poor handling made it hard to race Hamlin at the end of the race.

“I think if the 10 [of Aric Almirola] wasn’t pinning it on the bottom in front of me I’d have been fine,” Truex said.  “In the end, we just weren’t good enough.  Nothing I could do, just out-of-control sideways.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Denny Hamlin
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Chase Elliott
  6. Clint Bowyer
  7. Jimmie Johnson
  8. Joey Logano
  9. Brad Keselowski
  10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  11. Cole Custer
  12. Erik Jones
  13. Tyler Reddick
  14. Ryan Blaney
  15. Austin Dillon
  16. Chris Buescher
  17. Aric Almirola
  18. Ty Dillon
  19. Ryan Newman
  20. Matt DiBenedetto
  21. Alex Bowman
  22. Christopher Bell
  23. Matt Kenseth
  24. John Hunter Nemechek
  25. Ryan Preece
  26. Michael McDowell
  27. Bubba Wallace
  28. William Byron
  29. Corey LaJoie
  30. Daniel Suarez
  31. JJ Yeley
  32. Josh Bilicki
  33. Quin Houff
  34. Timmy Hill
  35. Joey Gase
  36. Brennan Poole
  37. Garrett Smithley
  38. BJ McLeod
  39. Reed Sorenson
  40. Kurt Busch