NASCAR Xfinity Series at Darlington 2017 Results: Denny Hamlin Holds On for Win

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2017

DARLINGTON, SC - SEPTEMBER 02:  Denny Hamlin, driver of the #18 Sport Clips Toyota, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #41 Hunt Brothers Pizza Throwback Ford, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Sports Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway on September 2, 2017 in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

In a race dominated by Cup Series regulars, Denny Hamlin won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina, on Saturday.

Hamlin held off Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick to pick up the victory, making a skilled, last-lap pass of Logano to seal the win, as seen in this video courtesy of NASCAR on NBC:

Here is a rundown of the top 10 finishers from

1. Denny Hamlin

2. Joey Logano

3. Kevin Harvick

4. Erik Jones

5. William Byron

6. Brennan Poole

7. Ty Dillon

8. Justin Allgaier

9. Cole Custer

10. Austin Dillon

Hamlin led 33 of the race's 148 laps and scored his second Xfinity Series win of the season in the process.

He was aided by a late caution that interrupted Harvick's lead after Harvick had previously won the first two stages of the race.

While Elliott Sadler's 33rd-place finish shrunk his lead in the point standings, William Byron remains a distant second:

1. Elliott Sadler: 858 points (0 wins)

2. William Byron: -91 (3 wins)

3. Justin Allgaier: -119 (1 win)

4. Brennan Poole: -184 (0 wins)

5. Daniel Hemric: -204 (0 wins)

6. Cole Custer: -268 (0 wins)

7. Matt Tifft: -300 (0 wins)

8. Blake Koch: -347 (0 wins)

9. Michael Annett: -368 (0 wins)

10. Ryan Reed: -371 (1 win)

11. Brendan Gaughan: -371 (0 wins)

12. Dakoda Armstrong: -391 (0 wins)

17. Jeremy Clements: -483 (1 win)

Despite being in 12th place, Dakoda Armstrong is currently outside the playoffs due to Jeremy Clements' one win, meaning Armstrong must either win one of the next two races or ascend to 11th place in order to qualify.

Saturday's race was largely about some of NASCAR's biggest stars taking part in its No. 2 series as a tuneup for Sunday's Cup Series event at Darlington.

Experience is key at Darlington since it is known as "The Track That's Too Tough to Tame," and youngster Matt Tifft learned that quickly, as his race ended after just one lap, as seen in this GIF from NASCAR Xfinity:

Even veterans struggled with "The Lady in Black" at times, including Sadler.

A late accident cost him a quality finish, but earlier in the race, he sent Ty Dillon spinning and brought out a caution:

With the exception of three laps, Hamlin, Harvick and Logano combined to lead every lap of the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200.

Logano led the way with 58, but it was Harvick who scored the major blows by winning each of the first two stages.

He seemed well on his way to completing the sweep and winning the third by taking the checkered flag, but a caution brought out by Armstrong with 10 laps remaining led to a round of pit stops.

Harvick lost his lead when Logano beat him off pit road:

Another yellow flag came out shortly after the restart, though, when Sadler went for a ride after contact from Erik Jones:

That caused some reshuffling with Hamlin assuming the lead, Logano dropping to second and Harvick ending up in third.

Hamlin had two of the best drivers in the world on his bumper during the final few laps, and he was even passed by Logano heading toward the home stretch.

By virtue of an incredible crossover move, however, Hamlin took back the lead and stole the win in dramatic fashion.

Saturday's race offered a thrilling preview of what could be on tap for the Cup Series race on Sunday, as Hamlin, Logano and Harvick all figure to be top contenders.


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