NASCAR: Hamlin wins 2010 AAA Texas 500

Monday, November 8, 2010

File photo of Denny Hamlin
Image: Kim Phillips.
Texas Motor Speedway , the race track where the race was held.
Image: Art10.

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin, who qualified thirtieth, won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2010 AAA Texas 500 held on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, United States. This became his eighth win of the season, and his second at Texas Motor Speedway. Throughout the course of the race there were nine cautions and thirty-five lead changes among fourteen different drivers.

On the final restart, Matt Kenseth caught Hamlin and passed him. Later the same lap, Hamlin reclaimed the position, after Kenseth collided into the wall, prompting him to finish second during the race. Mark Martin finished third. Joey Logano managed the fourth position in the closing laps of the race, after starting twentieth on the grid. Greg Biffle, from the Roush Fenway Racing team, clinched the fifth position, after leading 223 laps during the race. Kevin Harvick followed Biffle in sixth, while Clint Bowyer could only manage seventh.

David Ragan, Jimmie Johnson, and Paul Menard rounded out the top ten finishers in the race. Jeff Gordon, another driver in the Chase, finished thirty-seventh. Following the race, Johnson commented, "It was just a long day. I had speed in the car. We worked our way forward and had issues on pit road. [...] We gave away so much track position from the beginning. It's tough to get back where we needed to." "The past four years, we've been in a different position," Johnson continued. "I've lost plenty of championships in the past, and this is racing, and it doesn't come easy, and you are not going to get what you want every single year and every single weekend. "I can promise you this — I am trying as hard as I can. I know my team is. We're doing everything we can. Thirty-three points back is not where we want to be, but we're going to work to get back on top."

Hamlin became the Drivers' championship leader with 6,325 points, thirty-three points ahead of Johnson. The Manufacturers' сhampionship standings is led by Chevrolet with 249, 40 points ahead of Toyota and 91 ahead of Ford with two races remaining in the season.

Looking forward to next week, Hamlin said, "I'm going to race Phoenix as if I'm 33 behind, to be honest with you. There's no comfortable margin going into Homestead, because anything can happen. So for me — Phoenix being an up-and-down race track for me — I've got to really be focused on practice day to get what I need, to give [crew chief] Mike [Ford] the information that I need — just 100 percent stay focused is all I can do. But like I say, I'm not going to be conservative having the lead. I'm going to want to stretch that out before we get to Homestead. So that's pretty much my mind-set."


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