Hamlin takes checkered flag at Kansas Speedway

Kansas City, KS (WWBT)- Denny Hamlin has never won a Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway.  Nine previous starts had netted him two top-five finishes, but all of that changed on Sunday.

Hamlin took the lead from Martin Truex Jr. with 31 laps to go and never relinquished it, going on to win the STP 400 for his second Sprint Cup victory of the season.  Hamlin hung around the top five during most of the race and worked his way up as the laps counted down.  Truex led a race-high 173 laps, but a checkered flag still eluded the number 56, which hasn't won a Sprint Cup race since Dover in 2007.

Hamlin led the top five pack, followed by Truex and Jimmie Johnson.  Matt Kenseth was fourth and Greg Biffle crossed the line in fifth.  Hendrick Motorsports saw its winless streak extend to 14, as the team is still in search of its 200th victory.

With his triumph at Kansas, Hamlin moves up one spot to fifth in the Sprint Cup standings, just 23 points behind the leader Biffle.  Truex is in second, just 15 points behind, with Kenseth in third, 17 points back.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in fourth in a 21 point deficit.

Hamlin's win gives him some momentum heading into his home track at Richmond International Raceway.  The number 11 has two wins in 12 starts.  He'll begin his weekend Thursday in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown.

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