When the 2012 Sylvania 300 resulted in Denny Hamlin crossing the finish line first, no one in attendance was shocked.
The NASCAR audience became quite accustomed to seeing Hamlin ahead of the pack prior to the waving of the checkered flag. The 31-year-old driver led a whopping 193 laps of Sunday’s race. And throw in the fact that he boasted four wins prior to the victory as well, and his edging out of Sprint Cup Standings leaders Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson wasn’t a surprise at all.
With the triumph, Hamlin moved into third place in those standings and is now in striking distance of the top spot. He leapfrogged Tony Stewart, who finished seventh on the afternoon.
Stewart is surely disgusted with the race’s outcome because he led 38 laps and earned just 38 points with his finish. Kyle Busch is far more disgusted after leading 48 laps and finishing 28th.
The man who started with the pole position, Jeff Gordon, didn’t hold it for long. He led only seven laps of the race. Sitting at No. 12 in the standings, Gordon was desperate for the point boost a W would bring, but he failed to cash in.
While Stewart, Gordon and Busch’s finishes won’t satisfy them, their disappointing conclusions aren’t influential compared to Keselowski’s. His sixth-place finished cost him the top spot in the Sprint Cup Standings as Johnson, yet again, regained the No. 1 position.
Johnson finished second on the evening and is back in the driver’s seat to win a sixth world title.
Here are the leaderboards for the Sylvania 300 and current Sprint Cup Standings.
Sylvania 300 Results
|13||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||88||Chevrolet
|17||Martin Truex Jr.||56||Toyota|
Chase for the Cup Standings
|2||Brad Keselowski ||-1|
|3||Denny Hamlin ||-7|
|7||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||-26|
|8||Kevin Harvick ||-31|
|10||Martin Truex Jr. ||-34|
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.