Denny Hamlin claims victory in Richmond

The Air Guard 400 from Richmond International Raceway was mixture of pride and prestige as NASCAR honored not only the 9th anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy but also the brave men and women of our armed forces and first responders to the horrific scenes of that horrible day.

There were only three cautions throughout the evening the last of which for weather, however not even the brief rain shower would detour the determined teams as they battled to run the final race before the chase to conclusion.

As the night raged on and the laps wound down the battling giants of NASCAR boiled down to the clash of the Richmond Titans. Kyle Busch, whose record at RIR has done nothing but improve, battled “Hometown Hero” Denny Hamlin for the top spot. Hamlin dodged the Busch bullet as the No 18 car began to give up the fight despite the driver determination.

As the checkered flag flew the crowd at RIR came to life as Virginia’s own Denny Hamlin claimed not only the victory but also the points lead to start the “Chase”.

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Second place finisher Kyle Busch reflected on the closing moments of the race. “I felt like the 11 car was just ahead of us tonight and they deserved to win.” Busch said. Later he added, “We can’t be disappointed in a second tonight. We wanted to win, and we fought hard with Denny, but racing teammates clean like that, and not laying a bumper at all, just making sure that the Gibbs cars had a good, solid night, so that everything would be on our side heading into the chase next weekend. Hamlin praised the efforts of his team and his Gibbs racing teammates post race.

“Kyle (Busch) put the pressure on us and he made a heck of a charge.” Hamlin said, about the closing laps. “Luckily for me he was a teammate because if it had been anyone else, he probably would have moved us.” “Really proud of Joey (Logano),” Hamlin later said. “It’s only a matter of time before he’s as competitive as Kyle Busch week-in and week-out, and that’s going to make both teams a whole lot stronger.”

All Three Joe Gibbs Racing teams finished in the top four spots at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, giving team president, J.D. Gibbs something to really smile about as the season enters chase format.

“Just a big deal for us. I think with Denny and Kyle as well, and to watch Joey, all three in one night hopefully get some momentum built up for the Chase was a big deal for Joe Gibbs Racing, and we love coming back to Richmond.”

Gibbs said. Jimmie Johnson finished Saturday night’s race third, and claimed the second seed in the Chase points standings. Joey Logano finished fourth, Marcos Ambrose was fifth, Clint Bowyer finished sixth, and Juan Pablo Montoya was seventh. They were followed by A.J. Allmendinger, Kevin Harvick, and Carl Edward who rounded out the top 10.

TO READ OUR LAP-BY-LAP COVERAGE, CLICK THE LINK BELOW

http://www.speedwaymedia.com/index.php/2010/09/11/lap-by-lap-hamlin-tops-the-charts-at-richmond/

RACE RESULTS

Pos. St. No. Driver Make Pts. Bon. Laps
1 14 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 195 10 400
2 32 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 170 0 400
3 11 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 170 5 400
4 6 20 Joey Logano Toyota 160 0 400
5 13 47 Marcos Ambrose Toyota 155 0 400
6 4 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 155 5 400
7 2 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 151 5 400
8 3 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford 142 0 400
9 20 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 138 0 400
10 1 99 Carl Edwards Ford 139 5 400
11 23 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 130 0 400
12 22 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 127 0 400
13 25 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 129 5 400
14 12 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 121 0 400
15 8 12 Brad Keselowski Dodge 118 0 400
16 15 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 115 0 400
17 34 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 112 0 400
18 21 2 Kurt Busch Dodge 109 0 400
19 5 0 David Reutimann Toyota 106 0 398
20 19 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 103 0 398
21 18 13 Casey Mears Toyota 100 0 398
22 29 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 97 0 398
23 26 6 David Ragan Ford 94 0 398
24 31 82 Scott Speed Toyota 91 0 398
25 17 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 88 0 398
26 7 98 Paul Menard Ford 85 0 397
27 36 19 Elliott Sadler Ford 82 0 397
28 33 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge 79 0 397
29 10 9 Kasey Kahne Ford 76 0 396
30 27 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 73 0 396
31 42 83 Mattias Ekstrom Toyota 70 0 396
32 24 16 Greg Biffle Ford 67 0 395
33 28 71 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 64 0 395
34 9 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 61 0 394
35 38 38 Travis Kvapil Ford 58 0 393
36 16 26 Jeff Green Ford 55 0 393
37 39 37 David Gilliland Ford 52 0 393
38 40 34 Tony Raines Ford 49 0 392
39 43 9 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 46 0 324
40 44 55 Terry Labonte Toyota 43 0 143
41 41 7 Kevin Conway * Toyota 40 0 118
42 30 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 37 0 61
43 35 132 Jason Leffler Toyota 34 0 30

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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