In what feels like a broken record for Denny Hamlin in 2021 and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the three-time Daytona 500 winner fell short of victory after leading late.
Hamlin led during the second overtime attempt in Sunday’s Verizon 200 at the Indianapolis road course. Then, Chase Briscoe bumped and spun Hamlin out of the lead in turn nine.
Earlier in the lap, Briscoe was black-flagged for improperly re-entered the track in turn one.
Hamlin finished 23rd and led 27 laps. Briscoe finished 26th, after being parked with one lap to go. Briscoe led 12 laps earlier in the race.
For Hamlin, who has made 16 starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was another recent close call with victory at the famed track.
In 2020, Hamlin blew a right-front tire while leading with six laps to go.
In 2018, he finished third after being passed for the final lead change with three laps to go.
While Hamlin did not win, he became the first driver to lock into this year’s NASCAR Cup Series playoffs on points. Hamlin is 198 points ahead of Kevin Harvick, who is the next-highest winless driver in the points standings.
The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series is the August 22 FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway (3 p.m. ET; TV: NBCSN, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).