By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Denny Hamlin won the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night in Bristol, Tennessee. Hamlin won the race in two hours and 49 minutes.
This is his fourth win of the season. However, this was just his second win in Bristol, as his previous win was in 2012.
“I didn’t know that,” Hamlin said speaking of his one win at Bristol prior to Saturday night’s win. “This race is special just in general. I mean, you see how many people were in the stands today and tonight. I just saw the atmosphere. Really when I got here on Friday, it was electric. You could just tell this weekend is big. I definitely got at least two or three texts from my crew chief saying, ‘This one’s really important to me, just so you know’. He encouraged me not to take one lap off. I have a week off ahead of me, I can rest then (smiling). He was whipping the horse for the entire week. So I definitely can say I did not take a lap off [Saturday night].
“It was great to be able to come back obviously from two laps down, obviously you have multiple wins at every short track. Used to be I would say early in my career, it was like I just can’t wait to get to the short tracks. Now I just can’t wait to get to a racetrack in general. Doesn’t matter if it’s a road course or short track or superspeedway, anywhere. We can win every single week. Really for the last two months it’s just been incredible that the adjustments we’ve made as the season has gone on, just keep getting better.”
He led 79 of the 500 laps. Hamlin also received 40 points and five playoff points.
Matt DiBenedetto finished second despite the news earlier in the week that he would be departing Leavine Family Racing after the season. DiBenedetto led 93 laps.
Brad Keselowski was the third-place finisher. He was the only Ford driver in the Top Three, as both Hamlin and DiBenedetto drive Toyota’s.
Keselowski also led 91 laps. Kyle Larson also led 62 laps, while Martin Truex Jr. had 52 laps led. Chase Elliott had 33 laps lead in his Hooters Spirits ride.
Kyle Busch had 30 laps led, while Kevin Harvick led 28 laps. Erik Jones had 23 laps led and Kurt Busch led nine laps.
There were seven drivers, who did not finish the race. Two drivers were involved in crashes, while two more had clutch problems.
One driver was dealing with a DVP problem, while one driver battled fatigue. In addition, an another driver had a front hub problem.
David Hagan crashed on lap 371 and departed the race. Michael McDowell also crashed on lap 368.
Reed Sorenson left the race on lap 269 with a clutch problem. Harvick had a clutch problem, as well, and left on lap 244.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. left the race with a DVP problem on lap 391. Josh Bilicki had fatigue and left on lap 373. B.J. McLeod left the race on lap 410 with a front hub problem.