Denny Hamlin overcomes miscue to win Darlington

Terry Renna/AP

Denny Hamlin celebrates in Victory Lane after winning Sunday night’s NASCAR race at Darlington Raceway.

By Pete Iacobelli Associated Press 

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Denny Hamlin overcame a bad miss of the pit road entrance to chase down Martin Truex Jr. with three laps left to win the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday night.

Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing, checked up after sliding by the entrance with 54 laps left and fell behind Truex by 20 seconds.


“We can still do this,’’ Hamlin’s crew chief Mike Wheeler told his driver after the miscue.

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But Hamlin slowly reeled in Truex and passed him when his rival brushed the wall and got a flat tire.

Hamlin, who led 124 laps Sunday night, swept throwback weekend at Darlington after winning the Xfinity race Saturday.

Truex won the first two stages, clinching NASCAR’s regular-season championship and gaining the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs in two weeks.

Kyle Busch was second and brother Kurt Busch was third. Austin Dillon finished fourth, and Erik Jones was fifth.