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Hamlin Finishes 16th in First Race of the Chase

September 17th, 2012 by

Team Interstate Racing Wrap-up for Sept. 15-16, 2012:

Denny Hamlin is Team Interstate's representative in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Denny Hamlin is Team Interstate's representative in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images.

Denny Hamlin, Team Interstate‘s representative in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, began NASCAR’s playoff with a 16th-place finish Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway. Teammates Kyle Busch and Joey Logano finished fourth and seventh, respectively.

Denny Hamlin talks with Coach Joe Gibbs in the garage. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images

Denny Hamlin talks with Coach Joe Gibbs in the garage. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images

Hamlin was running in the eighth position with two laps to go when his fuel tank ran dry and he coasted across the finish line, ending the race at the tail end of the lead lap.

“Didn’t get car full and ran out with 2 to go,” Hamlin posted on his Twitter account after the race. “This is 1 week of 10. We will win next week.”

Busch found himself within the top-10 for most of the 267-lap race, using a combination of smart adjustments by crew chief Dave Rogers and solid pit stops by the No. 18 Doublemint/Interstate Batteries® team to climb from his starting position of 21st.

“Just didn’t quite have enough for the top-three today, but we had a fourth-place car and we got a fourth-place effort out of it,” Busch said.

A pensive Kyle Busch waits in the garage at Chicagoland Speedway. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images.

A pensive Kyle Busch waits in the garage at Chicagoland Speedway. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images.

Brad Keselowski won the Geico 400 to score his eighth career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Chicagoland.

Hamlin entered the first race of the 10-race Chase seeded first among the 12 Chase drivers. He leaves Chicagoland fourth in points with 2,041 points, 15 markers behind new Chase leader Keselowski.

Busch maintained 13th in the standings with 814 points, 41 ahead of 14th-place Ryan Newman. Logano held his 18th position with 715 points, 99 points behind Busch in 13th. Since they are not Chase participants, Busch and Logano can finish no higher than 13th.

NHRA Pro Stock: Edwards Exits in Round of Eight

Team Interstate’s Mike Edwards drove his Penhall/K&N/Interstate Batteries Pontiac to the No. 5-qualified spot this weekend at the first of the six-race NHRA playoff in Charlotte.

After more than a five-hour rain delay, Edwards opened competition with a win against Ronnie Humphreys.

In the round of eight, Edwards gave up lane choice to points leader Allen Johnson, and that was the difference. The pair left with identical lights, but Johnson pulled away to a 6.58 to 6.61 win.

“With the long delay, the conditions changed dramatically from the first two days and we were just not aggressive enough to take advantage of them,” Edwards said. “Sometimes you can swing for the fences and strike out big time and with the playoffs, we wanted to make sure we got down the track, and it just wasn’t enough.”

Edwards is back on track this weekend outside Dallas for the second playoff stop. He currently sits tied for fifth with Erica Enders and trails Johnson by 115 points.

Position

 Driver

Points

01

Allen Johnson

2,209

02

Jason Line

2,206

03

Vincent Nobile

2,138

04

Greg Anderson

2,107

05

Mike Edwards

2,094

05

Erica Enders

2,094

07

Ron Krisher

2,063

08

Larry Morgan

2,062

09

V Gaines

2,052

10

Jeg Coughlin Jr

2,031

Next week: NASCAR returns to New Hampshire, and NHRA visits the Texas Motorplex.

By James Pecht (177 Posts)

James Pecht writes about franchising, battery technology, tips, racing and company culture for Interstate Batteries.


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