NASCAR Nationwide Series

Hamlin dominant in Richmond Nationwide win



Richmond, VA (Sports Network) - Denny Hamlin is perfect so far at his home track after winning Friday night's Bubba Burger 250 Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Hamlin, who hails from nearby Chesterfield, VA, led 199 of 251 laps, but had to hold off a hard-charging Paul Menard in a green-white-checkered finish. Hamlin held a slim lead over Menard when the race ended under caution for an incident involving Derrike Cope on the final lap.

It was Hamlin's 11th career Nationwide win. He also gave crew chief Adam Stevens his first victory in the series. Stevens took over crew chief duties for the No.20 Joe Gibbs Racing team at the start of the season.

"I'm just proud to give Adam his first win," Hamlin said. "These guys have been battling to get this team where it needs to be. They definitely showed their performance tonight."

On Thursday, Hamlin won his charity race at Richmond, passing Kyle Busch for the lead on the final lap.

Hamlin will start 11th in Saturday's 400-mile Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond. He won the fall Cup race here last September.

Carl Edwards started on the pole and led the first 43 laps before Hamlin took over. Hamlin briefly relinquished the lead during a mid-race round of green- flag pit stops.

During the late stages of the race, it appeared Hamlin would gamble on fuel. Hamlin, along with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Aric Almirola, had yet to make their final pit stops with 10 laps remaining. They were the only drivers on the lead lap at the time.

Stenhouse ran out of gas and stalled on the 0.75-mile track with seven laps to go, forcing just the second caution of the race. Almirola's tank also went dry during the caution, as Brad Keselowski gave him a push to pit road.

Hamlin pitted for fuel and tires just before the final restart for the two-lap overtime finish.

Menard finished second, while Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler and Brad Keselowski, who won this race one year ago, completed the top-five.

"We were so close," Menard said. "We're disappointed with second. We had a shot, and that's all you can hope for. Denny just got a better restart than me."

The top five were the only ones who finished on the lead lap.

Josh Wise took the sixth spot, followed by Sam Hornish Jr., Ryan Truex, David Stremme and Jason Leffler.

Almirola ended up finishing one lap behind in 14th, while Stenhouse wound up three laps down in 21st.

"It's a tough one, but we'll swallow it," Stenhouse said.

Edwards dealt with an ill-handling car after he gave up the lead to Hamlin and then ran out of gas, which put him five laps behind. Edwards, who won last Saturday at Nashville, finished 25th.

Allgaier took over the points lead, as he holds a six-point advantage over Sadler, who turns 36 years old on Saturday.

Stenhouse shared the points lead with Allgaier prior to Richmond, but fell 17 points behind Allgaier.

04/29 23:21:46 ET

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