Denny Hamlin won Sunday’s O’Reilly’s Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, his second win of 2019 and the 33rd of his career. It was also his third win at the speedway after sweeping both events in 2010.
Hamlin crossed the checkered flag after starting sixth and leading 45 laps, along with earning the Stage Two win earlier in the day. Clint Bowyer was second, 2.74 seconds behind while Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, and pole winner Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. William Byron, Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-10.
The win was not without adversity, as Hamlin was penalized twice; he missed pit road in the first stage and was hit with a speeding penalty, then was hit with an uncontrolled tire penalty. However, crew chief Chris Gabehart and team continued to work through and put Hamlin in the position he needed to be in for contention.
“Yeah, our car was really, really fast. We obviously saw that,” said Hamlin from Victory Lane. “Once we got out front, we were able to pull away from the pack a bit. Got a little bit loose when we were racing our teammates in the 18 and 20, so I wasn’t able to be as aggressive as I was earlier in the race. We had a super fast car, that’s why we won.”
“Our Mustangs were fast all weekend long,” said Bowyer. “Took awhile for our Mustang to get good. This Rush Trucks Center Cummins car, to be honest, was a little off all weekend long. I was pretty nervous coming into the race, but we made some good adjustments and leaned on our teammates.”
Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch had the dominant car of the race, leading 66 laps before contact with the wall sent him to pit road and a 10th-place finish. Meanwhile, Ryan Blaney led 45 laps before an overheating issue sent him out of the race with a 37th-place finish.
The race saw 26 lead changes among 13 drivers, with five cautions slowing the race for 29 laps. The next race is April 7 at Bristol Motor Speedway, as the Food City 500 will start at 2 p.m. EDT on FS1.