Denny Hamlin passes Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the final lap of Sunday’s NASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series exhibition race on the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Earnhardt was second in the 100-lap race. Timmy Hill was third. Chase Briscoe placed fourth. Garrett Smithley was fifth.
Hamlin rallied from 14th in the final 20 laps, taking advantage of the top 13 not pitting under caution on Lap 81.
MORE: What drivers had to say after Sunday’s race
Hamlin pledged to donate $100 for every lap he led and $5,000 if he won the race. Those donations will be earmarked to assist Miami-area residents.
“It’s always fun when you win,” Hamlin said in a teleconference after the race. “Regardless, it was a great event for the racing community and the NASCAR drivers to come together to put 20-some drivers together on such short notice. I think it definitely was a success.”
Said Earnhardt: “We took tires with 30 laps to and Denny took tires with about 20 laps to go and I think that was certainly a big advantage for him. We were racing really hard up front, too, burning our stuff up. I didn’t expect Denny to get up there and he did. Went to the bottom because if I go to the top he can pass me a whole lot easier. Plus, he wanted to, he could take the whole lane and knock me out of the way and I don’t even finish in the top five.”
- Denny Hamlin
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Timmy Hill
- Chase Briscoe
- Garrrett Smithley
- Alex Bowman
- Bubba Wallace
- Ryan Preece
- Ty Majeski
- Erik Jones
- Matt DiBenedetto
- Landon Cassill
- Parker Kligerman
- Ross Chastain
- Joey Logano
- Clint Bowyer
- Ryan Truex
- Bobby Labonte
- Ty Dillon
- Justin Allgaier
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Austin Cindric
- Michael McDowell
- Chase Elliott
- Brad Keselowski
- Christopher Bell
- Austin Dillon
- Chris Buescher
- Kyle Busch
- John Hunter Nemechek
- Jimmie Johnson
- Anthony Alfredo
- Kyle Larson
- William Byron
- Kurt Busch
The Coca-Cola 600 is back under way following a rain delay.
The caution was issued on Lap 49 for rain and the field was brought to pit road. The red flag was issued at 7:07 p.m. ET and lifted at 8:16 p.m. ET.
The top five at the time of the stoppage was Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick and Joey Logano.
Check back for updates.
Denny Hamlin was involved in an incident even before Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 got underway that could result in a hefty penalty.
A chunk of tungsten ballast — which teams use to bring Cup cars up to minimum weight standards — fell off Hamlin’s car on a parade lap.
The incident puts Hamlin’s crew chief Chris Gabehart and several others on the team in violation of the NASCAR rule book, which means a hefty penalty could be in the offing.
According to the NASCAR rule book, the penalty is 22.214.171.124.4.d: Minimum safety penalty options — “Loss or separation of added ballast from the vehicle will result in a four Race suspension of the crew chief, car chief, and head engineer. If NASCAR cannot identify which series or vehicle the lost ballast originated from, all vehicles entered for that Event from and associated with the team organization identified on the lost ballast may receive the suspensions.”
If NASCAR implements the potential penalty, Gabehart and others could miss the following four races: May 27 at Charlotte, May 31 at Bristol, June 7 at Atlanta and June 10 at Martinsville.
Several of those tracks are good for Hamlin, including winning the Bristol summer night race last year, as well as was fourth at the Martinsville playoff race last fall and 11th at Atlanta.
NASCAR ordered Hamlin back to pit road where the No. 11 crew added a new chunk of ballast to Hamlin’s car. He returned to the race eight laps down.
Here’s what a fabricator from rival team Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted about the incident:
Chevrolet drivers swept the top three rows for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600, led by Kurt Busch‘s pole-winning lap of 181.269 mph.
Jimmie Johnson was next with a lap of 181.214 mph. He was followed by Chase Elliott (181.002 mph), Matt Kenseth (180.923), rookie Tyler Reddick (180.905) and Austin Dillon (180.741).
Ford driver Joey Logano, who starts seventh after a lap of 180.451 mph, was the top qualifier not driving a Chevrolet.
TO THE REAR: Matt DiBenedetto (backup car), Brad Keselowski (unapproved adjustment), Aric Almirola (unapproved adjustment), JJ Yeley (unapproved adjustment) and Timmy Hill (unapproved adjustment)
Click here for Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup
Kurt Busch will lead the field to the green flag for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600 after claiming the pole Sunday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
It is Busch’s 28th career pole and first at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch is joined on the front row by Jimmie Johnson. Chase Elliott qualified third and is followed by Matt Kenseth and rookie Tyler Reddick. Austin Dillon was sixth, as Chevrolet drivers took the top six spots.
Click here for qualifying results
Aric Almirola spun coming to take the green flag to begin his qualifying lap. He grazed the wall with his rear bumper.
Matt DiBenedetto slapped the wall off Turn 4 during his qualifying lap and will go to a backup car and start at the rear of the field.