Hamlin Scores First Coca-Cola 600

More than five hours after the green flag and more than 16 years after his first Coca-Cola 600 start, Denny Hamlin finally left Charlotte Motor Speedway as a winner on Memorial Day weekend. The race featured 31 lead changes over 413 laps, with the favorite ranging from stage 1 winner Chase Elliott, to stage 2 winner Daniel Suarez, to stage 3 winner Ross Chastain. “It means a lot and something I was worried about all day,” Hamlin said. None of the first three stage winners finished better than Chastain’s 15th-place effort, marred by crash damage from the Larson and Dillon incident. The win was the 48th of Hamlin’s career and his first points-paying NASCAR Cup Series victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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