STP 400: Denny Hamlin Steals Win from Martin Truex Jr. at Kansas

Ben Montedonico@@NASCARBRBenContributor IIIApril 22, 2012

Denny Hamlin won his second race of 2012 Sunday at Kansas
Denny Hamlin won his second race of 2012 Sunday at KansasJohn Harrelson/Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr. was the dominant driver in the STP 400 at Kansas, but it was Denny Hamlin's day as he took his No. 11 car to Victory Lane for the second time in 2012 on Sunday.

Hamlin took the lead from Truex following the final set of green flag pit stops, leading the final 31 laps en route to his 19th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory and his first at Kansas.

Truex dominated the afternoon, leading a race-high 173 of 267 laps before surrendering the lead to Hamlin on Lap 236 after the handling on his car went away when the sun came out after the final stop.

Truex would manage to reel Hamlin in during the closing laps, attempting to dive-bomb the eventual winner in Turn 4 twice, once with three laps remaining and again on the final lap.

Truex settled for second with Jimmie Johnson in third. Matt Kenseth and points leader Greg Biffle continued their stellar 2012 season for Roush Fenway Racing, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

Several drivers failed to finish the race due to engine failure, including Truex's teammates Mark Martin and hometown favorite Clint Bowyer, who finished 33rd and 36th, respectively.

Pole sitter AJ Allmendinger led the first 44 laps before engine failure plagued his No. 22 car as well. Allmendinger would finish the race, but 10 laps down in 32nd.

Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon also suffered late engine trouble but managed to finish the race in 17th and 21st, respectively.

Greg Biffle lost just a little of his points lead on Sunday, but still leads the standings quite handily with a 15-point gap over new second place driver Martin Truex Jr.

Matt Kenseth fell to third in the standings, 17 points back with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin rounding out the Top 5, 21 and 23 points behind Biffle, respectively.