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Hamlin Finishes 19th in Wild Roval Race, Advances to Round of 12

September 30, 2019

Denny Hamlin will advance to the Round of 12 in NASCAR’s Playoffs after finishing 19th on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval course Sunday. The race on the road course-oval hybrid was a wild one, with 10 caution flags, including two for wrecks that involved Hamlin.

The #11 team had to start their back-up FedEx Freight Toyota after a Friday practice crash, requiring Hamlin to drop to the rear for the initial green flag. While the car showed speed, multiple incidents on track kept knocking Hamlin back in the field, including a multi-car wreck during Stage 1 and another in Stage 3.

The race was red-flagged with only seven laps remaining to clean up fluid on the track. When it finally returned to green, Hamlin was able to gain multiple positions to cross the line in 19th.  Chase Elliott won the race, with Ryan Newman, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch and Hamlin teammate Erik Jones getting eliminated as the 16-driver Playoff field was pared to 12.

“We just had a bunch of things working against us today,” Hamlin said. “We started the back-up car, and we got caught up in some wrecks that caused some damage. We just didn’t have what we needed to get up to the front. I’m proud of the effort by our FedEx team, but I’m ready to stick to the ovals for the rest of the Playoffs.”

Hamlin is now seeded third in points for the start of the Round of 12, which begins Oct. 6 at Dover International Speedway.