With 53 laps remaining, the chances of Denny Hamlin winning the Bojangles’ Southern 500 appeared to be incredibly slim thanks to a mistake made on pit road. Hamlin missed the entrance to pit road, forcing him to work his way through traffic for another lap. He managed to work his way back into the race, ultimately overtaking Martin Truex Jr. to win the Bojangles’ Southern 500.
With his win in the Xfinity Series race Saturday, Hamlin swept both major races at Darlington Raceway this weekend.
Hamlin, one of eight drivers to lead Sunday’s race, picked up his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup win of the season. Of the 367 laps Hamlin led 124, with Kyle Larson also leading that many. However, Hamlin’s dominance for much of the race nearly went for naught as a result of the aforementioned pit road mistake. Hamlin managed to chase down Truex, passing him with three laps remaining.
Truex, who is up to a NASCAR-best 37 playoff points and 17 stage victories, would ultimately finish the race in eighth place due to a blown tire. Finishing second to Hamlin was fellow Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch, with Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon and rookie Erik Jones rounding out the Top 5. Busch is currently fourth in the NASCAR playoff standings, with Denny Hamlin right behind him in fifth place.
Hamlin, who now has 12 NASCAR playoff points, has four Top 5 finishes in his last five races with the lone exception being his 16th-place finish in the Pure Michigan 400 last month.