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NASCAR AT Phoenix: Denny Hamlin Wins Subway Fresh Fit 500

Denny Hamlin led the most laps in the Daytona 500 but had to settle for fourth. Today, he didn’t lead the most laps, but did take home the victory in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. He led the final 59 laps for his 18th career win.

After the race, Hamlin said that initially he didn’t think he had a winning car today.

“If you would have asked me at the beginning of the day I would have said I would have taken a top 15 finish,” said Hamlin. “Just an amazing job by this FedEx office team. We just kept working on it and every time they worked on it, it kept getting better.”

Hamlin sits atop the points standings after two races, which is an unfamiliar spot for him so early in the season.

“Huge momentum. We’ve never been in this position so early in the season. We’ve always struggled. We’ve always taken our time, 5 or 6 races in before we hut our stride.”

Kevin Harvick was closing on Hamlin in the final laps but ran out of fuel one lap shy and ended up in second. It marked his 9th top ten finish at Phoenix. Here’s the rest of the top 10, which features three drivers from Joe Gibbs racing.

1 13 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota
2 8 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet
3 7 16 Greg Biffle Ford
4 4 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
5 28 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge
6 12 18 Kyle Busch Toyota
7 25 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota
8 30 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
9 1 55 Mark Martin Toyota
10 9 20 Joey Logano Toyota

Hamlin's #11 car is now tied for the all time number of wins, 198, with the #43.