Tha Sports Junkies 101

Denny Hamlin Wins Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International


It’s seems the key to winning at Watkins Glen International nowadays is of all things win the Daytona 500 the same season. Denny Hamlin made it two straight for reigning Daytona 500 (Joining Joey Logano) winners at WGI Sunday at the Cheez-It 355.

Hamlin led 10 laps and outran Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski in a 4 lap shootout to the finish. It’s Hamlin’s first road course win of his Sprint Cup career. 2015 race winner winner Joey Logano finished 2nd, followed by Brad Keselowski, AJ Allmendinger and Tony Stewart to round out the top 5.

“Should have won both road course races, which we never would have predicted at the beginning of the year,” Hamlin said. “This is a good sign, I’ve finally won at all the (different style) race tracks. It’s a great accomplishment for us.”

But, the win didn’t come easy for Denny as he admitted after the race on USA Network that he woke up with back spasms the morning of the race and even doubted starting.

“I really doubted being in the race car today, I’ll be honest with you,” Hamin said in a intervew. as he waited for his car to be pushed to victory lane.

As Hamlin cruised to a win, some carnage took place behind him in more ways than one. Brad Keselowski spun out Martin Truex Jr. coming off the final turn, costing him a top 5 finish in the process. Also, AJ Allmendinger wrecked Kyle Larson just a few 100 yards behind the first incident in what hurt Larson’s Chase chances.

Other storylines from Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International include:

  • Jimmie Johnson’s string of bad luck continued Sunday as he was collected into a multi-car wreck on lap 53. He, Greg Biffle, Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were involved in a crash that later required a brief red-flag for clean-up on turn 6. Jimmie fished 40th, his first last place finish in 529 career CUP Series starts.
  • Another big crash required a red flag on lap 83, as a crash unfolded with David Ragan, Kevin Harvick, Chase bubble contender Chris Buescher and Matt DiBenedetto at the Inner Loop.
  • Danica Patrick led 11 laps just prior to the halfway point today. She had led 10 laps in the previous 21 races combined.

Next Race Up: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes it’s final off week of the season before the Bass Pro Shops / NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 20