Monday, June 20, 2011

Hamlin Finally Gets To Victory Lane in 2011, Wins at Michgan

Sporting News Wire Services

Denny Hamlin captures his first win of the season at Michigan (Getty)
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- For the first time this season -- at a track where he was expected to contend -- Denny Hamlin finally dodged the pitfalls that have plagued him in previous races and closed the deal.

First out of the pits after a stop under caution on Lap 192 of 200, Hamlin held off Matt Kenseth after a restart with five laps left and claimed his first victory of the season in Sunday's Heluva Good! 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Hamlin, who won his 17th Sprint Cup race, crossed the finish line .281 seconds ahead of Kenseth. Unlike previous races at his best tracks, such as Martinsville, Richmond and Pocono -- where Hamlin was strong early but succumbed to a variety late-race problems -- Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota was at its best in the closing laps of Sunday's race.

"We finished -- that's the thing," Hamlin said in Victory Lane. "We got it done. Everyone knows that we've been strong. Today we didn't look as strong as what we normally do here, but we got it working there at the end.

"We made a magic adjustment, and the car took off. This is the point of the season where we really need to start hitting our stride, and hopefully we've got another good 10 weeks before the Chase starts."

Michigan Results

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