(photo courtesy NASCAR)
Less than six weeks removed from ACL surgery on his left knee, Denny Hamlin opted for a weekend double at the track he considers one of the most grueling on the NASCAR circuit.
So far, so good. Staying out on old tires while other contenders came to the pits under caution on Lap 123, Hamlin held off teammate Kyle Busch, who also stayed out, to win Friday night’s Royal Purple 200 presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts at Darlington Raceway.
Hamlin had the lead on the restart but was passed briefly by his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate. Hamlin, who led a race-best 111 laps, quickly recaptured the lead and then began to walk away from Kyle Busch. The final margin of victory was about 10 car lengths.
It was the ninth time the two JGR drivers have finished first and second to each other in a Nationwide race.
Jamie McMurray, who restarted sixth, charged to a third-place finish.
Darlington Raceway truly lived up to its nickname Friday night, “The track too tough to tame”! The infamous “Darlington Stripe” adorned many of the race cars by the end of the race. Some of the competitors, however, were not so lucky as to just get “the stripe”. Some of the very unlucky cars had to be put “on the hook”, lifted back into their haulers, and headed for the scrap heap!
The race was a domination of the Joe Gibbs Racing tandem of Denny Hamlin and ol Kylie Busch. However, Hamlin’s #20 JGR Z-Line Toyota was most definitely the class of the field all race!
What do you think about Hamlin’s durability after going through ACL surgery four weeks ago?
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!