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Local boy makes good at Richmond

NASCAR Nationwide Series
Friday, May 02, 2008

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Denny Hamlin
Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR
With fresh tires on his No. 20 Toyota, Virginia native Denny Hamlin blew past Kevin Harvick on Lap 242 and weathered a green-white-checkered-flag restart to win Friday night's Lipton Tea 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Hamlin had opened a lead of more than two seconds over Harvick, before Bryan Clauson's spin on Lap 247 brought out the eighth and final caution, necessitating the two-lap dash that took the race three laps beyond its posted distance of 250 laps.

Hamlin finished .790 seconds ahead of Harvick, who fell just short in trying to win his first race in his own car. Harvick, Carl Edwards and Mike Bliss had stayed on the track under caution on Lap 237, while Hamlin came in for new tires.

"When those guys stayed out, I knew it was our race to win," Hamlin said. "We had a third-place car there at the end, and the circumstances just worked out for us."

The victory was Hamlin's first in the Nationwide Series this year and sixth overall. It also was the third straight win for the No. 20 with three different drivers (Kyle Busch at Mexico, Tony Stewart at Talladega). Joe Gibbs Racing drivers have won seven of the 11 Nationwide events contested this year.

Kyle Busch rallied from a lap down to finish third, after trading shots with Steven Wallace on the final lap to hold the position. David Ragan surged past Wallace to come home fourth, and Wallace held on to fifth position. David Stremme, Edwards, Bliss, Clint Bowyer and Scott Wimmer completed the top 10.

Harvick's crew chief, Wally Rogers, called his driver into the pits on Lap 237, but Harvick saw in his mirror that Edwards and Bliss were staying up on the track and made an impromptu call to stay out.

"I've been caught on both sides of that, but it only cost us one spot," Harvick said. "I was pitting, until I saw the 60 (Edwards) and the 1 (Bliss) behind him stay up. I figured more cars would stay out."

Harvick beat Edwards off pit road on Lap 144 under caution for David Reutimann's spin in Turn 2, a mishap instigated by a tap from Sam Hornish's Dodge. Harvick kept his No. 33 Chevrolet in front through two more caution periods until Derrike Cope's spin on the frontstretch brought out the sixth yellow flag of the race.

Harvick retained the lead until Hamlin passed him on Lap 242.

After their last-lap fracas, Busch and Wallace traded barbs on pit road.

"He's a boy trying to play it in a man's sport," Busch said.

"If he's going to say stuff like that, he can come and say it to my face," retorted Wallace, who grabbed Busch's facemask when Busch confronted him while Wallace was seated in his No. 66 Chevy after the race.

"If you grab the bull, you're going to get the horns," Busch added in his post-race press conference.
Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 3 20 Denny Hamlin Toyota Z-Line Designs 190/5 253 Running
2 6 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem 175/5 253 Running
3 25 32 Kyle Busch Toyota Hass Avocados from Mexico 165/0 253 Running
4 9 6 David Ragan Ford Discount Tire 160/0 253 Running
5 23 66 Steve Wallace Chevrolet Atreus Homes & Communities 155/0 253 Running
6 14 64 David Stremme Chevrolet Atreus Homes & Communities 150/0 253 Running
7 2 60 Carl Edwards Ford Save-A-Lot 156/10 253 Running
8 12 1 Mike Bliss Chevrolet Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 142/0 253 Running
9 5 2 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet BB&T 138/0 253 Running
10 10 29 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet Holiday Inn / Holiday Inn Express 134/0 253 Running
11 33 88 Brad Keselowski Chevrolet U.S. Navy Blue Angels 130/0 253 Running
12 7 17 Matt Kenseth Ford CitiFinancial 127/0 253 Running
13 18 7 Mike Wallace Toyota GEICO 124/0 253 Running
14 1 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Lipton Tea 126/5 253 Running
15 28 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Penske Truck Rental 118/0 253 Running
16 11 38 Jason Leffler Toyota Great Clips 115/0 253 Running
17 20 25 Bobby Hamilton Jr. Ford The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg 112/0 253 Running
18 8 99 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 109/0 251 Running
19 15 111 Jason Keller Chevrolet America's Incredible Pizza Company 106/0 251 Running
20 24 47 Kelly Bires Ford Clorox 103/0 251 Running
21 16 40 Bryan Clauson * Dodge Fastenal 100/0 252 Running
22 4 170 Mark Green Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 97/0 250 Running
23 13 5 Landon Cassill * Chevrolet Nat'l Guard / 2-224th Aviation Battalion 94/0 250 Running
24 26 22 Johnny Sauter Dodge Supercuts 91/0 250 Running
25 17 59 Marcos Ambrose Ford Kingsford Hickory Charcoal 88/0 250 Running
26 19 27 Brad Coleman Ford Huggies / Kroger 85/0 249 Running
27 39 81 D.J. Kennington Dodge Vector Security 82/0 249 Running
28 29 89 Morgan Shepherd Dodge Victory In Jesus 79/0 249 Running
29 27 161 Kevin Lepage Ford Specialty Racing 76/0 248 Running
30 35 292 Brian Keselowski * Dodge K Automotive Performance 73/0 248 Running
31 31 01 Kertus Davis Chevrolet RaceGirl 70/0 247 Running
32 30 24 Eric McClure Chevrolet Hefty 67/0 246 Running
33 38 52 Derrike Cope Chevrolet Jimmy Means Racing 64/0 245 Running
34 42 4 Robert Richardson, II Chevrolet JVC 61/0 243 Running
35 43 276 Ryan Hackett Ford JandRSupply.com 58/0 243 Running
36 34 05 Brett Rowe Chevrolet 31-W Insulation / CertainTeed 55/0 240 Running
37 21 28 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet U.S. Border Patrol 52/0 207 Running
38 22 231 Jeff Green Chevrolet Key Motorsports / JMI Signs 49/0 162 Out of Race
39 36 37 Burney Lamar Ford Xooma Worldwide X2O 46/0 55 In Pit
40 32 102 Andy Ponstein Chevrolet Stott Classic Racing 43/0 18 Out of Race
41 41 0 Danny Efland Chevrolet Lori Morgan 40/0 16 Out of Race
42 37 90 Johnny Chapman Chevrolet MSRP Motorsports 37/0 8 Out of Race
43 40 91 Kenny Hendrick Chevrolet MSRP Motorsports 34/0 6 In Pit

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