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Hamlin finally finds the Next Gen formula, wins at Richmond

Denny Hamlin interacts with fans during driver introductions before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto...
Denny Hamlin interacts with fans during driver introductions before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)(Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP)
Published: Apr. 3, 2022 at 7:59 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Denny Hamlin ran down William Byron with five laps to go and ended the slowest start to a season of his career with a victory in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.

In a race that featured four sets of green-flag pit stops and a whole lot of tire strategy, Hamlin methodically closed a huge gap between Byron and teammate Martin Truex Jr., passing Truex on the outside and Byron shortly thereafter.

He also held off a challenge from Kevin Harvick, a three-time winner at Richmond. It’s Hamlin’s 47th career victory and his first at his hometown track since 2016.

It’s also Toyota’s first this season.

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