Denny Hamlin fends off Busch to secure victory in NASCAR’s L.A. Clash.

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Denny Hamlin holds off Busch to win NASCAR’s L.A. Clash

Hamlin secured the pole position for the non-points exhibition race earlier on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum but fell back into the field during the race.

Despite the setback, he made a comeback and reclaimed the lead with 10 laps remaining. In a two-lap overtime, Hamlin successfully held off Kyle Busch while competitors behind him battled for position, bumping and banging against each other.

Reflecting on the race, Hamlin attributed part of his success to the events involving Ty Gibbs and Joey Logano in front of him. He acknowledged the chaotic nature of restarts with cars bumping and banging but expressed satisfaction with winning in Los Angeles.

Denny Hamlin fends off Busch to secure victory in NASCAR's L.A. Clash.
Denny Hamlin fends off Busch to secure victory in NASCAR’s L.A. Clash. (Credits: Motorsport)

Describing the victory as a “big momentum boost,” Hamlin emphasized that it adds another trophy to his collection. He explained that the impromptu scheduling of the race a day earlier was due to impending severe weather conditions that could have led to a multiple-day delay and potential cancellation.

As the crowd showered Hamlin with boos, he playfully retorted, “You know I beat your favorite driver again, right?” Reigning Cup champion Ryan Blaney finished third in the 23-car field, with Joey Logano in fourth and Kyle Larson rounding out the top-five.

The last restart was prompted by Ty Gibbs losing the lead to Hamlin on the previous restart and getting spun around in Turn 4 with one scheduled lap remaining, leading to overtime. Logano had led the second segment but faced challenges from Larson and Gibbs.

At the halfway break, Logano held off Larson in a one-lap dash to conclude the first 75-lap segment. Ty Gibbs was third, William Byron fourth, and Kyle Busch fifth. Hamlin had led early in the race but dropped to seventh at one point before making a charge back into contention with 30 laps to go.

The race featured various incidents, including a caution caused by Michael McDowell’s spin after contact with Ross Chastain. Despite developing a tire rub on his No. 11 Toyota, Hamlin managed to nudge past Gibbs on the restart to reclaim the lead and secure the victory.


By Park-Shin Jung

I am Park-Shin Jung. I am a professional content writer for cars.

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