BUSCH Carfax 250Final
Hamlin cruises to win at Busch Carfax 250Aug 18, 2007 - 10:15 PM By Bruce Martin PA SportsTicker Contributing Editor
BROOKLYN, Michigan (Ticker) In what was more a race against oncoming rain as it was the competition, Denny Hamlin blew away the competition to decisively win Saturday's NASCAR Busch CARFAX 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
Hamlin's Chevrolet Monte Carlo beat Matt Kenseth's Ford Fusion to the finish line by 6.998-seconds. Kevin Harvick, the hottest driver in the Busch Series the past few weeks, finished third, followed by Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton.
Hamlin, who earned $52,750 for the win, led four times for 69 laps to claim his second "official" victory of the season. He also won at The Milwaukee Mile, but replaced Arica Almirola who started that race and was credited with his first career victory.
"I told them I was out of gas and I'm sure that got the crew to jump off the wall," Hamlin said. "I didn't want to jinx myself and say it too soon. It couldn't be more fun to win for these guys.
"I was just joking with the team. I had plenty of fuel."
Pole-winner Greg Biffle finished fifth in a Ford after Mark Martin's Chevrolet ran out of fuel on the final lap.
"It was an uneventful race but we learned a lot today that should help us out," Biffle said. "The car was a little tighter than I wanted it to be."
Hamlin had brushed the wall in Friday's practice but his Joe Gibbs Racing crew was able to make it even faster than before.
"I didn't want to give these guys any more work than they had to but I can't say enough about how well they put this car back together," Hamlin said. "It was better than it was before."
Kenseth said he got too far behind on the final green flag pit stop and couldn't pedal his way to Hamlin's rear bumper.
"We had a strong car and were able to drive to the front right away and thought we were going to have a shot at it," Kenseth said. "Denny and I were having a heck of a race in the middle part of the race battling back and forth but just didn't have it at the end."
Kenseth led three times for 29 laps.
Carl Edwards, the Busch Series points leader, finished 28th after contact with Reed Sorenson on lap 25 brought out the second of three caution flags.
"I don't know whoever drivers the 41, what he was thinking there, it's just unbelievable," Edwards said. "Hopefully he'll be man enough to come over and have a talk with me face-to-face. It's a very frustrating day.
Edwards continues to run away with the drivers points - he leads Harvick by 700 points - but Richard Childress has taken over the owner points by 40 over Jack Roush. That's because Burton splits time with Scott Wimmer in that car.
It was Hamlin's fourth victory in 55 career Busch races, and his first victory and third top-10 finish in as many races at Michigan.
"We had a really good car even in practice," Hamlin said. "We repaired the car and knew when we qualified fifth we had a really good car. We kept adjusting on the car and every time we came into the pits, we left with the lead.
"It was a really good race for us. This win was very satisfying for us to get a win on a 2-mile track. I'm excited to finally get a win on a big track and show that I'm not just a short track guy."
The yellow flag waved for just nine laps, which boosted the average speed to 156.486 miles per hour.
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- Carfax 250 Preview Aug 18