Denny Hamlin wins CARFAX 250 at Michigan International

Published 9:32 pm Monday, August 20, 2007

By Staff
BROOKLYN – Denny Hamlin crunched his Rockwell Automation Chevrolet during practice on Friday and then crushed the field on Saturday to win the CARFAX 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
Hamlin had so much leeway in winning his second Busch Series Race of the season that he radioed his crew as he came out of the fourth turn to take the checkered flag and said he was running out of gas.
Hamlin joked that his guys in the pits were probably bored and he wanted to stir things up just a bit.
"I made them jump on the wall, I'm sure," he said laughing. "It happened at Indy and it wasn't so funny. I figured I could coast anyway, even if I did run out."
You can do that when you lead the final 39 laps of a 125-lap race and win by almost seven seconds over your nearest competitor who, in Hamlin's case, was Matt Kenseth. Kevin Harvick finished third followed by Jeff Burton and polesitter Greg Biffle.
Hamlin's margin of victory – 6.998 seconds – was a Busch Series track record for greatest margin of victory. The previous record was held by Mark Martin, who took the checkered flag 6.91 seconds in front of Terry Labonte in 1995.
"We had a really good car," Hamlin added after posting his 10th top-10 finish in 14 Busch Series races this season. "Even in practice we felt that we had a car that could contend for a win. We went out and hit the wall pretty good (during practice on Friday) and it was kind of a downer for the team to have to fix the car when they shouldn't have had to. We repaired the car and we knew when we qualified fifth with the hot conditions that we were going to have a really good car. Today was kind of uneventful. I had a lot of fun racing Greg (Biffle) and Matt (Kenseth) at one point."
Kenseth said he was just as fast as Hamlin through the middle of the race, but then lost ground toward the end.
"I could pass him and he could pass me," Kenseth added. "We didn't quite make the changes we needed to be there. We would have liked the chance to battle them at the end. We just got too far behind on the green flag pit stop and couldn't make it."
Busch Series point leader Carl Edwards had another frustrating finish, winding up 28th.
In the two previous races, at Watkins Glen and Montreal, he finished 32nd and 30th, respectively.