Week 13 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings: Hamlin wins at Kansas, Chastain retains top ranking
7 May 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News
KANSAS CITY, KS — With pole sitter William Byron (Hendrick №24 Chevrolet) and teammate Kyle Larson (Hendrick №5 Chevrolet) leading the field to green, it looked like the Hendrick team cars had an answer for the Kansas Motor Speedway track where Toyota has won the 2 previous races. After a long afternoon in unseasonably hot conditions, a restart on Lap 221 is where the race started to come into focus. Larson was the leader, but Hamlin closed in on Larson‘s Chevrolet on the final lap and further loosened an already loose race car. Slight contact from the right front of Hamlin‘s Toyota turned Larson into the outside wall as Hamlin streaked past and took the checkered flag.
Larson recovered to finish second, 1.307 seconds behind the winner, who ended a 33-race drought with his fourth victory at Kansas and exited his car at the finish line to a chorus of boos from fans who didn‘t like the way he won the race. Another disappointment for Larson who has had what looked like a winning car the past few weeks only to be caught up in a crash. In the end, Hamlin wins, Larson P2, Byron P3, Wallace P4, Chastain P5, Logano P6, Elliott P7, Truex Jr P8, Reddick P9, and Austin Dillion P10.
KANSAS RESULTS HAVE LITTLE IMPACT GFT AI DRIVER RANKINGS
No change in the top 3 spots — Ross Chastain’s 5th place finish allows him to hold onto the top spot, Bell is P2, and Truex Jr P3. With the win, Denny Hamlin jumps 6 spots to P4. Going the opposite way was Kyle Busch who got pinched against the wall and spun, resulting in a 35th place finish and falls 5 spots to P9.
“Yeah, I got position on him there, tried to side-draft him and clipped his left rear,” said Hamlin, “But I‘m glad he was able to at least finish.”
“Credit to my FedEx team, though. Four hundred wins for Joe Gibbs Racing (203 in the NASCAR Cup Series, 197 in the Xfinity Series) — it‘s such a great accomplishment for them.”
Updated GFT Box Scores:
Manufacturer Wins: Chevrolet = 7, Toyota = 5, Ford = 3
Hen = 4, RCR = 2, LGCY = 0, Pen = 2, SHR = 1, 23XI = 1, TH = 0, RFK = 0,
JGR = 4, JTG = 1
Next Up — Throwback Weekend!
The Cup Series’ next race is the Goodyear 400, scheduled Sunday at Darlington Raceway (3 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). All three national series will be competing as part of NASCAR’s Official Throwback Weekend.