Hamlin Wins Mid-Week Race at Darlington

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Denny Hamlin won the rain-shortened Toyota 500 from Darlington Raceway on Wednesday night.

Rain dominated the headlines throughout the week, as it postponed Tuesday’s Xfinity Series race and delayed the green flag for Wednesday’s Cup Series race by over an hour.

Once the race went green, drivers were on edge with rain threatening throughout most of the night.  With Hamlin in the lead during a late caution, the rain finally arrived and ended the race 20 laps short of the scheduled distance.

Hamlin stayed out with old tires late in the race, and he was able to hold off Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott on the final restart.  When Busch and Elliott got together to bring out the final caution, the rain finally arrived and the race was cut short.

Hamlin said his team was able to unload with a fast car for both Darlington races this week.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

“The pit crew did a great job today,” Hamlin said.  “I was pretty happy with how it all turned out.”

Hamlin said the track plays to his strengths as a driver, which helped him get to victory lane.

“It’s a driver’s racetrack,” Hamlin said.  “You can move around, you can do different things to make your car handle and we just got it right today.”

Busch and Elliott were racing for second place when the two made contact, sending Elliott spinning into the inside wall.  Elliott, NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, got out of his car and gave Busch the finger before getting into the ambulance.

Busch spoke to Elliott’s crew chief following the race, and said he just made a mistake while trying to conserve his track position.

“There’s no question, I made a mistake and just misjudged the gap,” Busch said.  “I made a mistake and clipped the 9 [of Elliott] there and spun him into the wall.”

Busch said he will reach out to Elliott in the coming days to speak about the incident, but that he is aware Elliott’s team will be upset.

“They’re upset, they’re mad,” Busch said.  “I’m not just going to fix it and we’re going to go have ice cream tomorrow.  Obviously they’re going to have to dwell on it…the repercussions of it, I’ll have to deal with on down the road.”

Unofficial results:

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