Denny Hamlin can go ahead and thank Jamie McMurray for his AdvoCare 500 win at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night.
The 31-year-old led for an impressive 105 laps, but as the racers neared the checkered flag, it was Martin Truex Jr. who appeared ready to take home the victory.
With just five laps to go, Truex Jr. had the comfortable lead over Jeff Gordon with plenty of gas to take him home, but McMurray tore into a retaining wall, bringing out the caution. That allowed the leaders to even up, and a poor restart from Truex Jr. allowed Hamlin to jump back out in the lead and coast to victory.
It was the second win for Hamlin in as many weeks and fourth of the season.
For Truex Jr., it would have been his first Sprint Cup victory since 2007 and just the second of his career. Ouch. Instead, he'll settle for fourth place and his first top-five finish ever at Atlanta.
AdvoCare 500 Leaderboard
For a complete look at the full leaderboard, check out NASCAR.com.
|4||56||Martin Truex Jr.|
|7||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
Updated Sprint Cup Standings
Hamlin's fourth win of the year continued to move him up the standings, as he jumped Clint Bowyer into seventh place.
Jimmie Johnson, meanwhile, suffered a wreck late in the race and was only able to complete 269 of the race's 325 laps. As a result, he drops to fourth place in the standings while Earnhardt Jr. and Kenseth move to second and third, respectively.
Jeff Gordon, who held on for a second-place finish, moved up one spot to 13th as he continues to fight for the Top 10.
For a complete look at the standings, check out NASCAR.com.
|2||Dale Earnhardt Jr. ||871|
|3||Matt Kenseth ||858|
|5||Martin Truex Jr.||838|
|7||Denny Hamlin ||822|
The drivers head to Richmond International Raceway to take part in the Federated Auto Parts 400. It takes place on Saturday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
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