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Denny Hamlin Fights to Win at Kansas!


The AdventHealth 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on May 7, 2023, was an intense chase that ended with Denny Hamlin's much-needed victory over Kyle Larson. Hamlin closed in on Larson's Chevrolet on the final lap and loosened an already loose race car, causing Larson to spin into the outside wall as Hamlin streaked past and took the checkered flag. Larson recovered to finish second, 1.307 seconds behind the winner. Hamlin's victory ended a 33-race drought and was his fourth victory at Kansas. However, some fans did not like the way he won the race and booed him as he exited his car at the finish line.


The race featured 37 lead changes among 12 drivers, the most lead changes in NASCAR history in a 400-mile race on a 1.5-mile intermediate speedway. Larson led seven times for a race-high 85 laps, including a stretch of 46 straight, before Hamlin grabbed the win on Lap 267. The fact that Larson was able to contend for the win at all was a reflection of his talent, given thorny circumstances that set him back in the early going. In a three-way battle for the lead before the race was five laps old, Tyler Reddick tried to shoehorn his No. 45 Toyota between Larson, the leader, and Ross Chastain, then running third. But Reddick tapped the rear of Larson's Chevrolet and sent the No. 5 spinning toward the apron. Larson avoided contact with the wall and recovered to reassume the lead during the second stage.


The Cup Series' next race is the Goodyear 400, scheduled Sunday at Darlington Raceway, where all three national series will be competing as part of NASCAR's Official Throwback Weekend. Post-race inspection in the Cup Series garage was completed with no issues, affirming Hamlin's victory. Competition officials indicated that five cars will be taken for wind-tunnel testing: Trackhouse Racing's No. 1 Chevrolet, the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevy, Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 4 Ford, the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and the No. 22 Ford from Team Penske.


In addition to the exciting race, there was also a confrontation between fifth-place finisher Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson, who swapped sheet metal at least twice during the race. The drivers took a couple of swings at each other before being restrained. Pole winner William Byron ran third after recovering from a speeding penalty that put him two laps down. Bubba Wallace passed Chastain with 15 laps left to secure the fourth position. Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, and Austin Dillon completed the top 10.

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