Denny Hamlin Kept His Promise with a Win at Dover Motor Speedway

NASCAR: Cup Qualifying
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Denny Hamlin kept his word and won at the Dover Motor Speedway the Würth 400 on Sunday. Only days before, the Joe Gibbs driver had ensured a win at Dover on his podcast, and he did so, by beating Kyle Larson by a quarter of a second in a thrilling finish.

Hamlin’s performance fulfills podcast promise

Hamlin led 136 laps of the 400-lap race and was able to hold off Larson in the final laps to take his second victory at Dover to follow up a win by his 23XI Racing team one week ago at Talladega with Tyler Reddick.

“It’s amazing,” Hamlin said, speaking to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio after the race. “It puts a little pressure on you when you run your mouth and say on Monday that you’re going to win the race this weekend. Hopefully, all the listeners of Actions Detrimental maybe cashed in on that with a Denny Hamlin win.”
He also praised his team, stating, “This team has done a phenomenal job. Every week. It’s every week that we feel like we can win, and we’re upfront, so this week was no different.”

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Milestone win for Hamlin

This win is Hamlin’s third in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, leveling with William Byron. Additionally, it is Hamlin’s 54th career win, tying him with Lee Petty for 12th on the all-time NASCAR wins list.

“All the names that I’ve passed the last few years — those are my idols, those are the ones that I looked up to,” Hamlin said. “ I’m very fortunate to be with a great team that carries me most days.”

Larson’s strategy falls short

Larson’s move to place his car in a way that disturbed the airflow in front of Hamlin’s car did not work out. He used the same strategy in Las Vegas against Tyler Reddick, but this time it didn’t work out. Larson complained after the race saying: “I knew when I got within three car lengths, he was going to start moving around. I couldn’t really do anything. I was trying all sorts of different angles and speeds, all that. Nothing could generate enough speed to get close enough I guess to do anything.” 

After the Dover victory, Hamlin moved to fourth in the championship, 49 points behind leader Larson. 

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Top five and race dynamics

The top five were completed by Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Chase Elliott. Truex and Larson were fast out of the blocks and Truex took the first stage with Larson taking the second. Though Truex was in front for 69 laps, he dropped back a little because of a sloppy pit stop.

Though Hamlin wasn’t in the lead at the onset of the race, he put in a formidable push in the second half to win the race.

The “Monster Mile” was an eventful track, especially when Bubba Wallace lost control of his Toyota with 72 laps to go, which caused a crash involving Christopher Bell and William Byron. The crash resulted in three driver DNFs: the first DNF of the season for Byron and the second of the season for Bell and Wallace. 

Xfinity Series race and next Cup event

The Dover Motor Speedway weekend also included an Xfinity Series race, won by Ryan Truex, who is the brother of Martin Truex Jr., in a double overtime finish. Truex drove his Joe Gibbs Toyota to victory, making it a very special weekend for the JGR team. 

The next NASCAR Cup Series race will be at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, May 5.

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