Joliet, Ill. – Sept. 20, 2015 – Denny Hamlin cruised into Gatorade Victory Lane in the 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. This win marks his first victory in ten race appearances at the speedway. 

Because of Friday night’s weather conditions, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying was canceled placing Hamlin in the back of the pack to start today’s race. Then, after a mere two laps he spun out putting him a lap behind the field for the majority of the race.

“Seventh,” said Hamlin when asked on his goal after the spin-out. “A top-ten finish would have been great as far as I was concerned. Luckily we were able to stay calm which made us able to make great decisions.” 

Two-hundred and sixty laps later Hamlin found himself back on track and five-wide with five laps left in the first race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Hamlin’s FedEx Ground Toyota pulled away from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch who finished second and third respectively. Following a restart with five laps remaining, Hamlin captured his second victory of the season and secured a position in the second round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

“No matter what has happened up until this point, we are at an advantage right now,” said Hamlin. He noted that the next round will be the most challenging for Joe Gibbs Racing, however, if they are able to surpass that and make it to the final eight, he believes they have a good chance of finishing the Chase on top.

Fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch, led 121 laps but lost that position as he fell back following the final restart. Ryan Newman finished fourth, while another Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Matt Kenseth, who fell short in last night’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Furious 7 300, finished fifth.

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