Hamlin Overcomes Pit Road Struggles to Win at Texas

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Denny Hamlin won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 from Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Hamlin did not have an easy day on his way to victory lane.  After getting hit with two pit road penalties throughout the race, Hamlin and his team used pit strategy to get back to the front.

Hamlin said overcoming both penalties showed how strong his car was on Sunday.

Sean Gardner/Getty Images

“Just a really fast car,” Hamlin said.  “They gave me a fast car; a car fast enough to really pass anyone in the field, so that means a lot.”

The race at Texas was different than those in the past, as this race featured NASCAR’s new aero package.  The package gave drivers more opportunities to draft as they would at a bigger tracks like Daytona or Talladega.

Hamlin said the new rules package changed the way drivers raced throughout the day.

“Definitely a different kind of race trying to draft…trying to get out of everyone’s way,” Hamlin said.  “Proud of this whole FedEx Office team.”

Clint Bowyer was chasing Hamlin down over the final green-flag run, but after Hamlin picked up time during the final pit stop, Bowyer wasn’t able to get close enough to challenge for the win.

After struggling with his car’s handling in practice and getting bit by a controversial call by NASCAR in qualifying, Bowyer said his weekend ended better than it started.

“This car was a little off…all weekend long; it took awhile for our Mustang to get good,” Bowyer said.  “I was a little nervous for the race, and we made some good adjustments.”

“I wanted to catch [Hamlin] bad; he just came out of the pits way too far ahead of me and there wasn’t much I could do about it.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Denny Hamlin
  2. Clint Bowyer
  3. Daniel Suarez
  4. Erik Jones
  5. Jimmie Johnson
  6. William Byron
  7. Aric Almirola
  8. Kevin Harvick
  9. Kurt Busch
  10. Kyle Busch
  11. Ryan Newman
  12. Martin Truex Jr.
  13. Chase Elliott
  14. Austin Dillon
  15. Michael McDowell
  16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  17. Joey Logano
  18. Alex Bowman
  19. Paul Menard
  20. Chris Buescher
  21. Ty Dillon
  22. Ryan Preece
  23. Bubba Wallace
  24. Matt Tifft
  25. David Ragan
  26. Matt DiBenedetto
  27. Parker Kligerman
  28. Corey LaJoie
  29. Ross Chastain
  30. Landon Cassill
  31. BJ McLoed
  32. Garrett Smithley
  33. Daniel Hemric
  34. Reed Sorenson
  35. Bayley Currey
  36. Brad Keselowski
  37. Ryan Blaney
  38. Timmy Hill
  39. Kyle Larson