Denny Hamlin was dominating at the Cook Out Southern 500. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver looked unstoppable for the majority of the race but his race-best 177 laps was just not enough for a NASCAR Playoff victory at the Darlington Raceway. This is when Kyle Larson coupled with the great strategy of Hendricks Motorsport started to take over.
It was thought that the race was decided when Denny Hamlin started to rev up and not let go of the gas. But, the Joe Gibbs racing driver just was not safe from technical difficulties. The number 11 Toyota Camry started porpoising and forced him to pit which resulted in losing a lot of places. He would end the race at 25th while Kyle Larson saw the opportunity to climb up to a win.
Larson had stolen the lead from both Tyler Reddick and Kevin Harvick to seal the win. Kyle led for the last 55 laps at the Southern 500 and never looked back. He was ecstatic after his first NASCAR Playoff win at the Darlington Raceway. The Joe Gibbs driver revealed what was going on in his head during the race, via Pete Iacobelli of AP News.
“This has been one of my favorite tracks my whole career. Been really, really fast here my whole career, just usually in the wall, he said. Larson added what the hardware and victory meant for him, “Adding this trophy to the collection is amazing. This is one of three or four crown jewels.”
Will he end the year with another NASCAR Cup Series trophy?