WATCH: Denny Hamlin Spins From the Lead During Xfinity Race

Published 09/06/2021, 2:09 AM EDT
Mar 14, 2021; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) drives during the NASCAR Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


During the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington, Denny Hamlin looked like a favorite to win. During the opening stage, he led from Daniel Hemric in the final laps. While trying to overtake Cody Ware, Hamlin threw away a surefire stage win when he spun off.

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Behind him, Hemric was not about to say no to an open invitation and snatched the lead and stage win. Hemric won ahead of Noah Gragson and championship leader AJ Allmendinger. Fortunately for Hamlin, he was able to recover and finish in the Top 5. Without a doubt, Denny Hamlin would have been kicking himself for squandering an easy stage win.

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Luckily, he did not hit any wall, unlike a few other Xfinity Series drivers, and managed to finish the race in 12th place. Admittedly, it was not an easy day in the office for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. He will be hoping for a better show in the Cup Series race later on.

How did Denny Hamlin perform at Darlington?

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Things got better in Stage two when he finished second behind race winner Noah Gragson. Behind him were Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, and Daniel Hemric. Finally, in Stage three, the #54 Xfinity driver found himself leading the race, ahead of Gragson, Harrison Burton, and Justin Allgaier.

May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) races during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

However, there was a giant spanner that was thrown in the works. During a final caution period, Hamlin went to pit for fresh tires. Unfortunately, his pit crew reacted too early, which was against the NASCAR rule book. As a result, the officials promptly sent him to the back of the pack as the last driver on the lead lap.

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From there, the driver had to fight back and claw his way up the order. Without a doubt, he did a decent job of salvaging his race, as 12th place was better than nothing at all.

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Dhruv George

12017 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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