October 30, 2011
Hamlin Wins at Martinsville
MARTINSVILLE, VA -- Virginia native Denny Hamlin passed Austin Dillon with 15 laps to go to win the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway Saturday afternoon.
Hamlin, who was filling in for Kyle Busch, won his first Truck Series race in 12 career starts, scoring the victory in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra.
Four-time Truck Series champ Ron Hornaday Jr. followed Hamlin on the race-winning pass and drove his No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet past Dillon’s No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevy to capture second place. Fourth was the No. 13 ThorSport Racing entry of Johnny Sauter, followed by Joey Coulter in a second RCR Chevy.
The second five consisted of Kevin Harvick, Cale Gale, Timothy Peters, Brendan Gaughan and James Buescher.
“I just gave it everything I had the last 50 laps,” said Hamlin. “The hardest 50 laps I’ve ever driven at Martinsville.”
Hamlin benefitted when Dillon and Hornaday opened the door for him on the last restart. “They were reminding me on the radio, they said, ‘You know, those two guys are battling for the championship, just keep that in mind.’
“I said, ‘Well, if they’d kindly just move over, they can battle right behind me,’” said Hamlin. “It was a gift.”
“He (Dillon) must have gotten rubber on his tires and pushed me up a little bit and Denny got both of us,” Hornaday said. “At least I held him (Dillon) off.”