Race Report- Hamlin Wins Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, his 3rd Crown-Jewel

29 MAY 2022
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

CONCORD, N.C. — Charlotte Motor Speedway puts on one of the best Memorial Day remembrances in America as part of the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race and Sunday’s patriotic salute was another huge win. Before the green flag dropped in Charlotte, motorsports fans across the world had already enjoyed Formula 1 from Monaco (won by Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez) and the Indy 500 (won by Marcus Ericsson). Now it was NASCAR’s turn to deliver great racing. Denny Hamlin, driver of the № 11 FedEx Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, won the pole on Saturday. He survived 619.5 miles of thrilling racing and two overtime GWC restarts to win over teammate Kyle Busch by 0.014 seconds.

Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA — MAY 29: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

The Crown-Jewels
The win was Hamlin’s second this season and the 48th of his career. He now holds trophies in all three of NASCAR‘s crown-jewel races: the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500. Kevin Harvick, driver of the № 4 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing, is the only other active driver with all three titles.

Kyle Larson and Cliff Daniels — Never Give Up
Kyle Larson started from the rear after brushing the wall in practice and subsequently skipping qualifying. During the race he suffered three pit-road penalties, a spin off Turn 4 and a fire in his pit stall and in the fuel filler on the car! But after all that chaos was leading the race on the next-to-last lap of regulation when Chase Briscoe went full send underneath him and spun while battling for the lead. which caused the 17th caution of the night.

In the first overtime attempt, a wreck collected Larson‘s № 5 Chevrolet and shifted the running order, with Hamlin now in the lead on four fresh tires.

“The first half (of the race) was a struggle for all of us,” said Larson, who finished ninth. “I was especially frustrated with myself. To rebound from that and have a shot to win there late was something to be proud of. Our team fought really hard. Happy with that.”

“Briscoe was really good, that long run there. Wish we would have just been a little bit better so he never would have got to me, ultimately spin.”

Credit: CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA — MAY 29: the first attempt at overtime, Austin Dillon‘s bold move on four fresh tires to Larson‘s two went awry off Turn 4, damaging seven cars and setting up Hamlin‘s win in the second overtime. NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

The Chris Buescher Barrel-Roll
On Lap 346 after contact with Briscoe‘s Ford, Daniel Suarez spun and ignited a four-car wreck that ended with Chris Buescher‘s Ford barrel-rolling five times through the front-stretch infield and landing on its roof.

Buescher eventually climbed from his car uninjured after the AMR Safety Crew took nearly 5 minutes to roll the car back on its wheels. Suárez, who had led four times for 38 laps, night was over as his car was totaled in the crash as well.

“I‘m going to be a bit sore tomorrow,” Buescher said after an obligatory trip to the infield care center. “I haven‘t been upside-down in a really long time. The team did a really nice job. We had great speed and had a chance at this thing, it just didn‘t work out.”

Chris Buescher‘s Ford barrel-rolling five times through the front-stretch infield and landing on its roof. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher‘s Ford barrel-rolling five times through the front-stretch infield and landing on its roof. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick soldiered to a third-place finish, followed by Briscoe and Christopher Bell. Tyler Reddick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Michael McDowell, Larson and Alex Bowman completed the top 10.

NEXT RACE:
Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter
WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY
Madison, Illinois- 240 laps / 300 miles

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Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association