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On the final lap—the fourth overtime circuit—of Sunday's race, Denny Hamlin saw an opportunity to take advantage of a second-place battle between Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski.
At the exit of Turn 2, Hamlin darted down to the apron, cutting across the unique dogleg on the backstretch, as Johnson and Keselowski were battling side by side. Hamlin returned to the banking at the entry to Turn 3.
Though Johnson got back past Hamlin before the finish, Hamlin held off Keselowski for third and, as he put it, "overachieved" at Phoenix.
"I wasn't concerned too much, because as far down as I was, I was committed," Hamlin said of the move that gained him a position. "There was nothing I was going to do that was going to back out. I just hoped that I would have slid in front of the 48 (Johnson), but then you risk getting punted and spun and your whole day you worked everything for gets taken away in a corner.
"I held my line and really thought I did t...
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
DENNY HAMLIN - WINNER
(No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota)
· One win, seven top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 10.3
· Average Running Position of 11.1, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 100.4, second-best
· 235 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
After Joe Gibbs Racing lost two entrants in last week's Daytona 500 due to engine failures, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch's teams have opted to change their motors prior to the Subway 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Hamlin's engine expired during practice Saturday. For Busch, whose engine failed two laps after JGR teammate Matt Kenseth ended up on pit road on Lap...
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. (Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Welcome back NASCAR fans!
The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season got off to an interesting start last weekend in the Daytona, but Sunday afternoon’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 may start to...
BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
PRESS CONFERENCE – “I thought off of practice that we were gonna have a miserable day, but it was a pleasant surprise we were able to find a little bit of speed and get our car to where we could at least have a respectable day. I thought we might even have a little bit more there if we would have caught the right breaks, but...
Even though he's the reigning Sprint Cup champion, Brad Keselowski gets a special thrill beating five-time champ Jimmie Johnson at anything.
Johnson doesn't mind being viewed as the standard that others seek to top. He considers it a sign of respect.
"I'm well aware that with the success that I've had over the last eight or 10 years that there's a lot of...