Denny Hamlin earns fifth Xfinity Series win at Darlington with last-lap pass

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Denny Hamlin won the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 with a last-lap pass of Joey Logano in Turn 4 in an overtime finish.

Logano had passed Hamlin going into Turn 3 before Hamlin went back beneath Logano through Turn 4.

It is Hamlin’s fifth Xfinity Series win at Darlington Raceway. All five have come from the pole.

“Just a really good restart, got through Turns 1 and 2 really good,” Hamlin told NBCSN at the start-finish line. “Great run by the 22 (Logano) getting back to me on the last lap. I think that was a throwback to Dale Earnhardt there in (Turns) 3 and 4.”

Hamlin led 33 laps. He took the lead on the overtime finish, pulling ahead of Logano.

“We definitely didn’t have the best handling car the beginning of the race,” Hamlin told NBCSN in victory lane. “We got it better there at the end. I actually was hating it that that caution came out because I thought I could run down (Harvick). We made it a little more exciting.”

The victory is the second of the year for Hamlin and the 17th of his Xfinity career. The race went 148 laps, one more than scheduled.

Kevin Harvick had been leading in the closing laps until Dakoda Armstrong spun with 10 laps to go in the original distance. That set up pit stops where Harvick lost the lead to Logano, who led a race-high 58 laps.

The overtime finish was set up by a crash involving Elliott Sadler on the ensuing restart.

“It would have been more fun if the caution didn’t come out, that would have been more fun for me,” Logano told NBCSN. “Denny had a great restart, went through the gearbox and motored me down into Turn 1 and had position on me. … (On the last lap) was able to get underneath him off of Turn 2. He knew my play. I knew what his play was going to be as soon as the spotter yelled ‘clear.’ I thought ‘that’s way too early in the corner to be clear.’ ”

Completing the top five were Harvick, Erik Jones and William Byron.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Harvick led 54 laps before losing the lead during pit stops following Armstrong’s caution. His finish is his best at Darlington in 15 starts … Byron finished fifth in his first Darlington start after bouncing back from having to pit a second time under yellow on Lap 94 for a loose lug nut … Brandon Brown finished 20th in his first Darlington start after running in the top 15 for much of the race … Jeremy Clements finished 21st in the first race since wining at Road America.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Matt Tifft spun and crashed into the inside wall as the field completed Lap 1 after he made contact with Ross Chastain. He finished last with his second DNF of the season … Spencer Gallagher spun on Lap 99 after being tapped from behind by Ben Kennedy. He finished 34th … Elliott Sadler, the defending race winner, was in the top five all day until he hit the outside wall on the frontstretch with five to go in the original distance after being turned by Erik Jones. It resulted in his third DNF of the year. He finished 33rd.

NOTABLE: Cole Custer, Daniel Hemric and Brennan Poole all clinched a spot in the playoffs on point. … Hamlin’s five wins breaks a tie with Jeff Burton and Harry Gant for second most at Darlington. Mark Martin has eight.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I was six, seven, eight car lengths ahead and that’s when you pray for no caution and then you see in the mirror there’s just smoke and everything. I’m like, ‘Please, don’t hit that hard.’” – Joey Logano on the caution the set of the overtime finish.

WHAT’S NEXT: Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond Raceway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 8 on NBCSN.

Driver-to-Driver with Jimmie Johnson: ‘I’ve got a lot to prove still’

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Jimmie Johnson is in his 17th year of full-time Cup racing and is in the midst the longest winless streak of his career at 42 races.

But the seven-time champion’s competitive drive is as strong as ever.

Johnson sat down with NBC Sports’ Dale Jarrett to discuss his career at this point in the latest edition of Driver-to-Driver.

“I can honestly say I spend more time now than I did my rookie year focusing on my job,” Johnson said. “I think that the support I have from my wife (Chandra), my kids are 7 and 4, to have them watch me be passionate about something has another meaning I didn’t anticipate coming. I’m lovin’ what I’m doing. I wish the results were a little better than what we have right now, but the process of what I’m going through is really fun.”

Hendrick Motorsports as a whole is in a slump. The team is in the middle of the second longest winless streak in its history at 35 races.

Johnson admits it’s hard to know when the right time will be for him to retire.

“The thing I can pull out of it is, don’t pick a number, make sure that fire’s gone out and that fire hasn’t gone out,” Johnson said. “The other thing that’s weighing on me, I don’t want to go out not at my fullest potential and not on my terms. The last thought that’s going to run through my mind is to walk away or, ‘Oh, it’s not going right, time to stop.’ Uh uh. I know I still got it. I’m going to go down swinging. I’ve got a lot to prove still.”

Watch the above video for more.

 

New Hampshire Cup race underway after rain delay

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The Foxwoods Resort & Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is underway after a three hour and 24 minute rain delay.

The race had been scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET. The green flag waved at 4:24 p.m. ET

Kurt Busch started from the pole and Martin Truex Jr. started second.

Staff picks for today’s Cup race at New Hampshire

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Here’s a look at who the NBC Sports staff is picking to win today’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Nate Ryan

Denny Hamlin. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver rediscovers his magic here and locks into the playoffs.

Dustin Long

Martin Truex Jr. wins back-to-back races for the first time in his career.

Daniel McFadin

Kevin Harvick earns a career-best sixth win of the season.

Dan Beaver

Martin Truex Jr. is getting into the same groove he had last year. This week he catches Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. Next week, he starts to pull away,

Today’s Cup race at New Hampshire: Start time, lineup and more

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The Cup Series holds its only race of the year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway today with the Foxwoods Resort & Casino 301.

Kurt Busch starts on the pole and Martin Truex Jr. starts second.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given by Jean Swift, treasurer of Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Counsel, at 12:51 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 1 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 301 laps (318.46 miles) around the 1.058-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 75. Stage 2 ends on Lap 150.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 35

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 7:30 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 11 a.m. Driver introductions are at 12:05 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Vanessa Salvucci will perform the anthem at 12:45 p.m. The Canadian National Anthem will be performed by Kirk Young at 12:42 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race beginning at 1 p.m. Coverage begins at noon with Countdown to Green on NBCSN. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at noon p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 70 degrees and a 78 percent chance of rain and storms at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Denny Hamlin won this race last year over Kyle Larson. Kyle Busch won the playoff race over Larson.

TO THE REAR: Landon Cassill (backup) and Michael McDowell (backup).

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the complete starting lineup.