Coca-Cola 600 results: Denny Hamlin survives twice in overtime to win savage war of attrition in Charlotte

CONCORD, North Carolina – Of the 37 cars that took to the start of the 63rd running of the Coca-Cola 600, the vast majority ended up being ripped, chewed up, knocked over or knocked over – including Denny Hamlin. And despite all that, it was Hamlin who won arguably the toughest edition of NASCAR’s longest race ever.

After taking on four fresh tires on his final pit stop before extra time, Denny Hamlin came out of a four-way battle for the lead on the first restart, then held off a Kyle Busch charge in double overtime to win the Coke -Cola 600 for the first time in his career. With his victory, Hamlin became the 12th driver in NASCAR history to win all three of the sport’s major tournaments – the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500 – and he did so in what was the NASCAR’s longest race. historic at 413 laps and 619.5 miles.

Coca-Cola 600 unofficial results

  1. #11 – Denny Hamlin
  2. 18 – Kyle Busch
  3. #4 – Kevin Harvick
  4. 14 – Chase Briscoe
  5. #20 – Christopher Bell
  6. #8 – Tyler Red Dick
  7. #47 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  8. Chapter 34 – Michael McDowell
  9. #5 – Kyle Larson
  10. Chapter 48 – Alex Bowman

The end

Towards the end of the 600 miles, the finish was shaping up to be a race between Kyle Larson and Chase Briscoe, as Briscoe ran down Larson and repeatedly tried to pass Larson on the inside line. With two laps to go, Briscoe attempted to put a slidejob on Larson in Turn 1, but the move didn’t stick and Briscoe ended up spinning to get the yellow flag out.

The caution that followed resulted in two split strategies: Larson, Ross Chastain, Joey Logano and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. all took two tires, while all of Denny Hamlin’s others at the back put on four. The result was huge, an entire swarm of cars charging at the front on the restart. And on the exit of Turn 4 coming on the white flag, Larson, Chastain, Hamlin and Austin Dillon were all four for the race lead before Larson snagged Dillon in the outside wall, triggering a multi-car crash that resulted in a double overtime.

After coming out on the other side of the four-man scrum, Hamlin was able to fend off Kyle Busch on the final restart to take the win.

600 miles of chaos

After offseason testing in Charlotte saw drivers on the edge of control in the Next Gen car, this year’s Coca-Cola 600 was expected to feature a higher level of on-track action and attrition accordingly. Those expectations ended up coming true in a race that was as challenging for the riders and equipment as it was exciting for the sold-out crowd that came to witness it.

The yellow flag flew 18 times, with several major incidents mixed between self-laps and other issues. Drivers like Kyle Busch, Bubba Wallace, Chase Elliott and Larson all spun to the front of the field. A dozen cars – including eventual winner Hamlin – found themselves piled up in Turn 2 during a restart.

But the most dramatic crash came with just over 50 laps to go, when Daniel Suarez spun past traffic and picked up the oncoming cars of Todd Gilliland and Chris Buescher. As Buescher’s car spun through the indoor turf, it ended up being thrown into the air and rolled five times before coming to rest on its roof. Buescher got out of his car and was uninjured.

In the end, this year’s Coca-Cola 600 lasted five hours, eight minutes and 16 seconds. It was the first time the race had taken more than five hours since 2005, when the race was slowed by a Cup Series record 22 warnings.

“The worst race of my life.”

If there’s one driver who had to go through an odyssey to reach the finish, it’s Kyle Larson. Larson had to start 36th after hitting the wall in practice and not completing a qualifying lap, and he crossed the field before a myriad of problems. Two pit road penalties, a pit road fire, contact with a wall, a Turn 4 spin off and a partridge in a handstand.

At some point before the race reaches halfway, Larson joked on his team’s radio that he was having “the worst race of my life”. Shortly after, team leader Cliff Daniels rallied his driver with a rousing pep talk.

“We went from back to front more times than I can count. We hit the wall, we spun, we literally caught fire. We were the team too the most penalized on pit road in the first half,” Daniels said. “All of this means that in the second half we are already going to start much better than what we started in the first half.

“We have to go perform now. I don’t really know what you’re worried about, but I’m fine, the team is fine, everyone down here nods and gives a thumbs up. So let’s go.”

Apparently that verbal kick in the pants was exactly what Larson needed. He ended up leading three times for 51 laps, including several of the final laps before the end of regulation. Then Larson had to recover from a spin in the last big crash for good measure before heading home with a top 10 finish in ninth place.

From order of finish

  • With his 48th career victory, Denny Hamlin is now tied with Hall of Famer Herb Thomas for 16th place on the Cup Series all-time winning list. With his next victory, Hamlin will match fellow Hall of Famer and one of his former teammates, Tony Stewart.
  • Despite another slidejob for the win gone wrong, Chase Briscoe was able to recover with a fourth-place finish. It’s Briscoe’s first top-five finish since his first career win at Phoenix in March.
  • Despite a drop in pace after contact with the wall at the end of the race, Christopher Bell was able to recover and finish fifth at the end of extra time. It caps off a terrific May for Bell, as he scored four finishes of sixth or better with an average of fifth.
  • With a seventh-place finish, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. scored his fourth consecutive top 10. Stenhouse’s current top-10 streak is now the best of his career, with three straight wins in the 2017 season.
  • Speaking of career milestones, Michael McDowell scored his fifth top 10 of the year, tying the career record he set last season. Four of McDowell’s top 10 have come in the last six races.
  • Harrison Burton was the highest-ranked rookie at No. 11, scoring his career-best finish and just missing out on his first-ever top-10 finish.
  • Two drivers who benefited from the high attrition level were Cody Ware and BJ McLeod. Ware scored his second top 20 in the past three races with an 18th place finish, while McLeod matched his best result of the season in 19th.
  • Despite issues that saw him 13 laps behind at the finish, Kaz Grala managed to be the last car to run in 23rd position. It’s a small step for The Money Team Racing, owned by Floyd Mayweather, as it is their best result in their third Cup race.

next race

The NASCAR Cup Series will meet everyone in St. Louis, as they head to World Wide Technology Raceway in Gateway for the first-ever Cup Series race, the Enjoy Illinois 300, on Sunday, June 5.

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