Photo by: Chris Trotman
Denny Hamlin held onto his lead in the closing laps of the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International to grab the first road course victory of his career.
Martin Truex Jr was charging to battle with Hamlin for the lead until Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski tapped him and sent him spinning in the final lap. Keselowski finished third while Truex survived for a top-10.
The race was packed with cautions and included two red flags during the 90 lap event on Sunday.
A multi-car wreck involving Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillion, Greg Biffle, and Ricky Stenhouse promoted a red flag after Stenhouse lost control of his No. 17 Ford on Lap 53.
The second and final red flag came in the closing laps after last week’s winner Chris Buescher, Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick, and David Ragan made contact on a restart.
Hamlin, who scored his second victory of 2016, shared that he battled back spams throughout the day.
“I really doubted getting into the race car today,” Hamlin said “But I’m really proud of this FedEx Freight Toyota Team.”
Hamlin was all smiles in victory lane despite having to walk to celebrate his win. Hamlin blew the tires off his car in a celebratory post-race burnout.
“This means a lot.” Hamlin said.