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MECS: Hamlin spoils career-best night for DiBenedetto, wins Bristol Night Race

(MRN) Denny Hamlin got by Matt DiBenedetto with 12 laps to go and went on to win Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Hamlin overcame a night of challenges including falling laps down to the field to get back to Victory Lane for the fourth time this season. It was the 35th victory of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

He wrestled the lead away from DiBenedetto, who learned he was losing his ride in the Leavine Family Racing Toyota next year earlier this week and was trying for his first career win.

“It feels good. My first reaction was I’m sorry to Matt, I know those guys really wanted to win and Matt deserves a win,” Hamlin said. “Watching him do an interview, I get emotional for him, just hate that I had to take it from him.”

Hamlin’s win kept a string of top-five finishes alive for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

“It’s on a roll like I’ve never seen before. It hasn’t been this good in a long time,” Hamlin said.

He led four times for 70 laps.

DiBenedetto was disappointed and emotional in the aftermath of what was still his career-best finish.

“I try not to get emotional but it’s been a tough week and I want to stick around,” he said fighting back tears. “I want so bad to win in the Cup Series and to come that close…Great day, but this one’s going to hurt for sure.”

Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Kurt Chase Elliott rounded out the top five.

Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez, Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney completed the first 10 finishers.

Larson and Kurt Busch won the first two stages.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is now off until Sunday, September 1st at Darlington Raceway.

For more, visit www.mrn.com.

Fin Str Car Driver Make Laps Pts Status Laps Led
1 1 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 500 40 Running 79
2 7 95 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota 500 41 Running 93
3 13 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 500 40 Running 91
4 31 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 500 40 Running 30
5 6 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 500 46 Running 33
6 2 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 500 41 Running 62
7 20 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 500 30 Running 0
8 18 41 Daniel Suarez Ford 499 38 Running 0
9 4 1 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 499 40 Running 9
10 12 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 499 32 Running 0

2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Standings

After Race 24: Bristol

Rank Driver Wins Top 5s Top 10s Poles Points -Leader Stage Wins Playoff Points
1 Kyle Busch 4 12 20 0 932 0 9 29
2 Joey Logano 2 9 14 2 893 -39 7 17
3 Denny Hamlin 4 13 16 1 855 -77 3 23
4 Martin Truex Jr. 4 10 15 0 838 -94 3 23
5 Kevin Harvick 2 7 15 4 830 -102 4 14
6 Brad Keselowski 3 8 13 2 794 -138 4 19
7 Chase Elliott 2 8 10 3 757 -175 4 14
8 Kurt Busch 1 5 13 0 741 -191 2 7
9 Ryan Blaney 0 7 11 1 686 -246 2 2
10 Alex Bowman 1 4 7 0 675 -257 0 5
11 Kyle Larson 0 5 11 1 665 -267 4 4
12 William Byron 0 2 8 3 664 -268 1 1
13 Aric Almirola 0 1 10 1 654 -278 1 1
14 Erik Jones 0 8 12 0 646 -286 0 0
15 Ryan Newman 0 1 8 0 603 -329 0 0
16 Daniel Suarez 0 3 9 1 591 -341 0 0
17 Clint Bowyer 0 5 10 0 589 -343 0 0
18 Jimmie Johnson 0 3 8 1 565 -367 1 1

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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