KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Denny Hamlin won the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway on a last-lap pass after contact with Kyle Larson.
Hamlin closed from 1.3 seconds behind Larson and dogged him over the last 15 laps. He lost his momentum with five laps to go, then regrouped and battled on the final lap.
Larson got loose exiting turn two and hit Hamlin, who tried to sidedraft him exiting the corner. They made contact, causing Larson to spin and hit the outside wall.
Hamlin cruised to the victory by around 1.3 seconds and greeted a cacophony of boos on the frontstretch after winning.
The win was Hamlin’s 49th in the Cup Series. It was also his fourth Kansas win, which puts him as the sole all-time wins leader at the 1.5-mile track.
TOP 10: Hamlin, Larson, William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS COMEBACKS
Larson and Byron came back from issues in stage one to earn their respective top-5 finishes.
Byron was even two laps down at one point in the race and slugged it out to get back to the front.
PUTTING UP A FIGHT
Noah Gragson finished 29th, five laps down.
Gragson ran inside the top 15 until around lap 200. That’s when Ross Chastain slid exiting turn four and forced him into the wall.
The rookie confronted Chastain on pit road after the race, even grabbing him.
“A big man once told me, ‘we have a no-push policy at Trackhouse’,” Chastain told FOX post-race.
With the policy in mind, Chastain punched Gragson in the face, ending their confrontation on pit road.
Penalties are likely pending as NASCAR vowed late last season and in the off-season to crack down on physical contact.
CLOSE COMPETITION AND CLOSE CALLS
The race featured close competition, with a record 37 lead changes among 12 leaders. This meant Sunday’s race was the most competitive 400-mile intermediate race in Cup Series history.
Sunday’s race also featured 11 cautions for 57 laps. Of those, seven consecutive cautions fell for incidents in or exiting turn two on laps 139, 149, 159, 164, 178, 192 and 207.
STAGE ONE TOP-10: Hamlin, Truex, Ty Gibbs, Reddick, Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell, Bubba, Ryan Blaney, Chastain, Larson
STAGE TWO TOP-10: Logano, Michael McDowell, Gragson, Erik Jones, A.J. Allmendinger, Chris Buescher, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Larson, Hamlin