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< Back to News Home Hamlin Captures First Victory at Kansas

Posted (04/22/2012) -

KANSAS City, Kan. – Although Martin Truex Jr. had a dominant car, Denny Hamlin took advantage of changing conditions to earn his second win of the season and first victory at Kansas Speedway.

 

The Raybestos (engineered by Alcon) equipped, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 FedEx car started from the fourth position and remained in the top five throughout the early portion of the race. But it was Truex’s No. 56 that dominated leading 173 laps.

 

However, the complexion of the race changed after a late round of green-flag pit stops when the sun began to shine for the first time all afternoon.  As Truex began to complain about his car being loose, Hamlin took advantage and was able to pass Truex for the lead in Turn 4 with 31 laps remaining.

 

“Whether it was coincidence or not, our car definitely seemed like, (relative) to the field, was better once the sun came out,” Hamlin explained. “I felt like our car lost a lot of grip when the sun came out, but I guess a lot of guys did when that happened. I felt like all day I was behind the 56 (Truex), and his car looked superior to the field.

 

“We just needed some kind of change – weather or adjustments or something to get where he was at – and we kind of got both of them. In overcast conditions, the cars run a little bit tighter, the grip level’s higher in the race car, and it’s more of a track-position type race. When the sun’s out, the drivers, in my opinion, are more prominent.”

 

As the cloud cover came back, Truex fought back and slowly closed the gap on Hamlin’s lead. With five laps left Truex was just .489 seconds behind and desperately tried to dive beneath Hamlin in Turn 3 twice in the final three laps.

 

In the end Hamlin took home his 19th career win just 0.700 seconds ahead. Jimmie Johnson finished third, followed by Raybestos (engineered by Alcon) equipped Roush Fenway Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle. Biffle continues to lead the Sprint Cup Series points with Truex moving to 15 points behind.

 

“It was a tight race,” said Hamlin. “But smart braking helped me save fuel and that allowed me to push hard during those final 30 laps. It’s a solid brake package. I felt confident I could drive hard with no worry about braking.”

 

The Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush Fenway Racing cars were equipped with the Raybestos (engineered by Alcon) Intermediate package Kansas Speedway. Alcon designs, manufactures and provides technical support for Raybestos branded calipers, rotors, hats and hardware for use with Raybestos racing friction in NASCAR competition.

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