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Hamlin Sizzles in Bristol Night

Denny Hamlin - photo by Larry Robinson - Bluerass Sports Nation

Denny Hamlin Wins Bristol Motor Speedway Night Race To Advance In 2023 Nascar Cup Series Playoffs

BRISTOL – September 16, 2023 – Anthony Holbrook

NASCAR Cup Series invaded Bristol Motor Speedway, formerly known as Bristol International Raceway and Bristol Raceway, located in Bristol, Tennessee. The distinctive short track billed as the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile “was constructed in 1960 and hosted its first NASCAR race on July 30, 1961. Bristol Motor Speedway’s noted features include exclusive steep banking, combined with an all-concrete surface, two pit roads, and Coliseum-like seating.

Tonight, Eligible gladiators battled in the Annual Bass Pro Shops Night Race to advance in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff field of Survival.

Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Stage 1 Recap:

Christopher Bell drops to the inside lane and leads the field into turn one. McDowell takes 2nd off turn two.

A domino wreck involving AJ Almendinger on lap 25 slows down the pace as caution is waved.  Race teams will gamble and forfeit track positions in exchange for pit service.  Most of the field will pit and attempt to stay on the same pit cycle sequence.

Light rain will be noticed arriving 100 laps in the event.  The progression of the rain storm, seven laps later, halts competition and teams wait out the rain precipitation.

Corey Lajoie drive the preferred lane overtakes Christopher Bell.     Corey along with Bubba Wallace cover the front row and anticipate the intensity level of aggression to increase…

Lajoie clears Bell into turn one transferring the lead to Corey with laps dwindling down in Stage 1.

Driving the track with 6 circuits remaining allows Christopher Bell to sharpshoot past Corey Lajoie for closing control  and lead of Stage 1.

Christopher Bell wins stage 1 at Bristol Motor Speedway!

Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Stage 1 Results:

1 – #20 – Christopher Bell
2 – #7 – Corey LaJoie
3 – #23 – Bubba Wallace
4 – #24 – William Byron
5 – #45 – Tyler Reddick
6 – #1 – Ross Chastain
7 – #6 – Brad Keselowski
8 – #5 – Kyle Larson
9 – #19 – Martin Truex Jr.
10 – #54 – Ty Gibbs (R)

Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Stage 2 Recap:

Intermediate rain pockets began to pop up in the vicinity of the racing surface at Bristol Motor Speedway  delayed the opening of Stage 2.    After a small rain interruption, Kyle Larson, Tye Gibbs and William Byron attempt to manage the ever changing condition of the track.

The fastest lane around the track you shall find Larson, riding the rim, working his way to front.  Christopher Bell has a clear view of Larsons rear bumper as Kyle leads the field with 70 laps remaining in Stage 2.

Counting 20 Laps from scheduled Stage 2 conclusion, Bell decides he will attempt to duplicate the results, choosing the high lane to overtake Kyle Larson.

Christopher Bell regains the lead sweeping both Stages and valuable Playoff points at Thunder Valley!

Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Stage 2 Results:

1 – #20 – Christopher Bell
2 – #54 – Ty Gibbs (R)
3 – #5 – Kyle Larson
4 – #11 – Denny Hamlin
5 – #42 – Carson Hocevar
6 – #34 – Michael McDowell
7 – #17 – Chris Buescher
8 – #24 – William Byron
9 – #41 – Ryan Preece
10 – #9 – Chase Elliott

After completion of Stage 2 Denny Hamlin and William Byron clinch spots in the round of 12 in reward for Playoff points earned.

Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Final Stage Recap:

Non-Playoff competitor Tye Gibbs will be a thorn in the side of Denny as Gibbs attempts to be a spoiler, leading laps in the Final Stage.  Tye Gibbs will be tested by Hamlin; experience prevails as Denny progresses past the rookie driver. 

As 75 laps remain in the Final Stage, Denny Hamlin will extend a 2 second differential separation between Kyle Larson.

Kyle attempts to regain the lead in the closing laps fails lacking equivalent grip to surpass a man on a mission.

Denny Hamlin continues to gain real estate,  leading 2nd place car a mere 3 second gap, 20 to go in Denny’s tire tracks.

Denny Hamlin wards off approaching danger in the final laps, conquering The Last Great Colosseum!

Bass Pro Shops Night Race    

Final Results

Pos | Driver

1. Denny Hamlin

2. Kyle Larson

3. Christopher Bell

4. Chris Buescher

5. Ty Gibbs

6. Michael McDowell

7. Chase Elliott

8. Brad Keselowski

9. William Byron

10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr

11. Carson Hocevar

12. Ryan Preece

13. Alex Bowman

14. Bubba Wallace

15. Tyler Reddick

16. Todd Gilliland

17. Austin Dillon

18. Aric Almirola

19. Martin Truex Jr

20. Kyle Busch

21. Daniel Suarez

22. Ryan Blaney

23. Ross Chastain

24. Erik Jones

25. Corey LaJoie

26. JJ Yeley

27. Chase Briscoe

28. Harrison Burton

29. Kevin Harvick

30. AJ Allmendinger

31. BJ McLeod

32. Austin Cindric

33. Ty Dillon

34. Joey Logano

35. Justin Haley

36. Ryan Newman

NASCAR Cup Series

Playoff Points Standing

(After Bristol Night Race)

1. William Byron  |  3,036

2. Martin Truex Jr  |  3,036

3. Denny Hamlin  |  3,032

4. Kyle Larson  |  3,023

5. Chris Buescher  |  3,021

6. Kyle Busch  |  3,019

7. Christopher Bell  |  3,016

8. Tyler Reddick  |  3,014

— Round of 8 Cutline —

9. Ross Chastain  |  3,011

10. Brad Keselowski  |  3,011

11. Ryan Blaney   |  3,008

12. Bubba Wallace  |  3,000

NASCAR Cup Series navigates to the Lone Star State annual running of the Auto Trader Echo Park Automotive 400 hosted by Texas Motor Speedway :   

Sunday, September 24, 2023

3:30 p.m. E.T.

USA Network / Sirius XM NASCAR 90

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