Mistake By Hamlin Opens the Door For Kahne at New Hampshire
Denny Hamlin was having a great day at New Hampshire. He had led 150 laps and was lengthening his lead when debris on the track brought out the yellow flag. And that’s where everything changed. His crew chief wanted to change two tires, but on the radio it sounded like Hamlin wanted four. The extra time in the pits shoved him all the way back to 13th place for the restart. It almost didn’t matter. Almost. Hamlin drove his way thru the field but the best he could do was second place.
Kasey Kahne took the lead on that restart and led the final 66 laps and beat Hamlin by about 10 car lengths for his second victory of the season and his first at New Hampshire.
Kahne’s win puts him in great shape for a wild card spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Wins determine the wild card spots and he’s the only driver 11th thru 20th in the standings with two wins.
Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.
Points leader Matt Kenseth came in 13th.
Hamlin moved from seventh to fifth in the standings.
Sprint Cup drivers are off next week. They’re at Indianapolis on Sunday, July 29th while Nationwide drivers are in Chicago next week.