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Harvick Holds Off Hamlin in Fuel-Mileage Race at Michigan

August 12, 2019

Denny Hamlin finished second to Kevin Harvick at Michigan International Speedway Sunday in a race where the closing laps had everyone guessing who had enough to fuel to make it to the finish.

Hamlin and the #11 team had a fast FedEx Office Toyota, shooting from their starting position of 14th to the top five by Lap 23 and to the lead by Lap 40. Hamlin stayed in the top five for most of the 200-lap event, well ahead of numerous wrecks that victimized several mid-pack cars throughout the race. He led twice for a total of six laps.

The final pit stop of the day proved pivotal to the race’s outcome. The leaders all came to pit road after a caution on Lap 150, with some filling their fuel tanks enough to make it to Lap 200 and some coming up a little short. As the final laps of the race ticked down, some of the top five had to peel off for fuel, while Harvick stayed out front and Hamlin worked to chase him down. The #11 wasn’t fast enough and crossed the line for a runner-up finish – Hamlin’s fifth straight top-five finish.

“We were right there, had a really fast car,” Hamlin said. “The FedEx team did a great job adjusting from the last time we were here. The fastest car won the race, speed-wise, but I feel like we had a great FedEx Camry. We just came up one spot short.”

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next heads to the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile,” Bristol Motor Speedway, for a Saturday night race on August 17.