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After pit penalty, Denny Hamlin wins second Can-Am Duel

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With a push from Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin shot past Dale Earnhardt Jr. with two laps remaining and went unchallenged to win the second Can-Am Duel qualifying race.

Hamlin, who received a pit penalty during a competition caution, led four laps all night on the way to the his third-career win in a Daytona 500 qualifying race.

The defending Daytona 500 winner was followed by Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger and Dillon as Earnhardt finished sixth.

“Got a great push there from Austin, we worked well together the entire race,” Hamlin told Fox Sports 1. “I’ll keep that in mind for the 500. Looked like our cars were really good together. Can’t thank this team enough.”

Hamlin bounced back after he had to restart from the rear following a penalty for driving through too many pit boxes as he left his own pit stall.

Hamlin took the win from Earnhardt, who led 53 of the race’s 60 laps. Entering Turn 3 with two laps left, Earnhardt went low as the push from Dillon gave Hamlin enough momentum to get around on the high side.

“I don’t know what I could have done differently to defend that,” Earnhardt told FS1. “As soon as I heard (Dillon) was clear on the outside, I knew they were going to have a big run. Denny is so smart, he knows what he’s doing out there. One of the better plate racers out there.”

Earnhardt was making his first start in a race since July after recovering from a concussion that forced him to miss the final 18 races of 2016.

Canadian driver DJ Kennington raced his way into the Daytona 500, which will be his second NASCAR Cup Series start.

Timmy Hill and Reed Sorenson failed to qualify for the race.

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Bowyer started and finished second in his first race action with Stewart-Haas Racing … Allmendinger finished fourth for his best result in 10 Daytona 500 qualifying races … Danica Patrick finished seventh, tying her best qualifying race result from last year.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Jimmie Johnson was involved in an accident on Lap 48 that caused minor damage to him, Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones. It was Johnson’s third accident of Speedweeks after two in the Advance Auto Parts Clash on Sunday. He finished 13th while Blaney finished 20th and Jones came home 19th in his first qualifying race.

NOTABLE: Hamlin’s win gives him three victories in the Daytona 500 qualifying races … Bowyer matched his best result in a qualifying race (2011).

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “It’s the most amazing feeling in the world. … This is one of the biggest moments of my life. All the guys at work that pitch in so I can come do this, thank you everybody, I really appreciate it.” – DJ Kennington after racing his way into the Daytona 500.

WHAT’S NEXT: The 59th Daytona 500 at 2 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox.

Results, point standings after Xfinity race at Richmond

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Christopher Bell led a race-high 120 laps to win the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway. It’s his second career Xfinity win.

Bell beat Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Noah Gragson, Elliott Sadler, Matt Tifft and Austin Cindric.

Elliott Sadler won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus.

Click here for the race results.


Elliott Sadler continues to lead the point standings through eight races. He has a 29-point lead over Bell.

Completing the top five is Tyler Reddick (-31 points), Daniel Hemric (-38) and Justin Allgaier (-48).

Click here for the point standings.

Christopher Bell wins Xfinity race at Richmond

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Christopher Bell fended off teammate Noah Gragson to break through and win his first Xfinity race of the year Friday night at Richmond Raceway.

Bell led the final 79 laps around the .75-mile track to score his second career win. He had finished in the top five in four of the first seven races this season.

“That was pretty special there, buddy,” Bell told Fox Sports 1. “Had to work for it. My teammate was really good and I knew throughout both practices that both of our cars were going to be really strong. Joe Gibbs Racing has been producing really, really fast Camrys for last couple of weeks and it’s really shown.”

Gragson placed second in his first career Xfinity start. He bounced back from an uncontrolled tire penalty early in the race.

He hounded Bell for much of the last 15 laps, but could never pull even with him.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Gragson told FS1 of his first series start at the short track. “I found a little something in the track, a little speed there at the end of the second stage on old tires. I kept it in my memory bank until the end and I told me team, ‘I got something, when it’s time to go tell me when.’ About 18 to go, I told them, ‘Can’t wait any longer, I don’t have any more patience.”

Gragson, who drives full-time in the Camping World Truck Series, led 10 laps.

The top five was completed by Elliott Sadler, Matt Tifft and Austin Cindric.

With his third-place finish, Sadler won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus.

Bell, Sadler, Tifft and Cindric will be eligible for the third Dash 4 Cash bonus next week at Talladega.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Daniel Hemric

STAGE 2 WINNER: Elliott Sadler, first stage win of season

MORE: Race results, points

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Austin Cindric earned his first career top five after starting from the rear for an unapproved adjustment … Matt Tifft earned his fourth career top five … Ryan Truex placed seventh to give Kaulig Racing its fourth top 10 of the year. It earned five last year … Jeremy Clements placed eighth, earning his first top 10 since he won at Road America in August.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: After winning Stage 1, Daniel Hemric lost his right front tire with three laps to go in Stage 2, but made it to the end. He finished 29th, four laps down … Justin Allgaier spun after ramming into the back of Spencer Gallagher with 86 laps to go. Chase Briscoe was also received damage in the incident. Allgaier finished 14th. Briscoe placed 26th.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “My wife’s already spent it.” – Elliott Sadler to FS1 after winning the Dash 4 Cash bonus.

WHAT’S NEXT: Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway at 3 p.m. ET on April 28 on Fox.

Starting lineup for Cup race at Richmond

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Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott will start on the front row for Saturday night’s Cup race at Richmond Raceway.

Truex won his third pole of the season.

The top five is completed by Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.

Kyle Busch, who is trying to win a third consecutive race, qualified 32nd.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Martin Truex Jr. wins pole for Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway

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Martin Truex Jr. qualified first for Saturday’s Cup race at Richmond Raceway, winning his third pole of the season.

Truex claimed the pole with a speed of 123.859 mph around the .75-mile track. The Toyota Owners 400 will mark Truex’s 450th Cup start. Truex had DNFs in the last two races.

“It’s definitely been a crappy two weeks,” Truex told Fox Sports 1. “But that’s part of racing. This team, I’ve got so much faith and confidence in them and everything we’re doing. You can’t let those kinds of things get you down. It was nothing we did, just circumstances. Just proud of the effort today.”

The pole matches Truex’s total from last year.

Chase Elliott qualified second (123.621 mph). The top five is completed by Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.

Ryan Blaney will start 12th, followed by Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson.

Daniel Hemric will start 22nd in his first Cup start.

Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski both failed to advance out of the first round. Keselowski will start 28th and Busch will start 32nd.

“We didn’t make a mock run in practice and then we thought the spread would be about three tenths (of a second),” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “It wasn’t, it was faster than that. We only ran two laps trying to make sure we preserve out tires for later on deeper into the session. A bunch of those guys ran three laps and obviously we needed that third lap. It would have picked up. For some reason the tire here today, even in race trim, your fastest lap was the seventh lap. So just takes awhile for everything to come in. Just trying to short cut it a little bit and it didn’t work out for us.”

Click here for qualifying results.