Via FedEx Racing
Denny Hamlin finished third in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, leading three times for 58 laps and stretching his fuel to the checkered flag en route to his eighth top-five finish in 17 events this season.
Staying out under the race’s final caution on Lap 210 shortly after pitting for the final time for tires and fuel, Hamlin restarted second behind eventual winner Brad Keselowski. Hamlin had to conserve gas on the final run, crossing the stripe third behind Keselowski and Kasey Kahne.
“It’s a shame that we weren’t able to race the 2 (Keselowski) at the end because we were in fuel-conservation mode, but third is a good result for this FedEx team,” said Hamlin, following the race. “We had a couple bad weeks, so to get a good finish and move up in the points helps us during this summer stretch.”
Hamlin started third in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota and remained in the top-five throughout the 267-lap event on the 1.5-mile oval. He took the lead for the first time on a Lap 130 restart and led all but two laps until Lap 187.
The finish moves Hamlin up two spots to fifth in the NASCAR standings following Kentucky, 68 points behind leader Matt Kenseth with nine races to go before the Chase cutoff.
The Series returns to action at Daytona International Speedway on July 7.