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Hamlin wins again on a Monday

by Stephen Hawkins
| April 20, 2010 9:00 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas - Monday, Monday for hobbling Denny Hamlin.

Three weeks after winning another rain-postponed race, and since having surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee, Hamlin gingerly climbed out of his car in Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday.

"I'm still not 100 percent by any means right now," Hamlin said. "I feel like I'm 60 at best."

That was still good enough to win at Texas.

Hamlin led the final 12 laps, the only time he was up front after starting the 334-lap race 29th. The final shootout came after a spectacular nine-car wreck took out polesitter Tony Stewart and dominating Jeff Gordon, and Hamlin held off points leader Jimmie Johnson at the end for his 10th career NASCAR Sprint Cup victory.

Two days after his Monday victory at Martinsville, Hamlin had the surgery on the knee he injured playing basketball in January.

The Easter weekend break provided some recovery time, but he was back in the car to run the entire race last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. He completed 376 laps at the mile track, finishing two laps back and bypassing a chance to get out of the cockpit during an extended stop for repairs on the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Hamlin was still hurting in Texas, the soreness irritated by the cool and wet weather that persisted during throughout the weekend.

"I did this for September. I knew that if I did it now, come Chase time, if I'm lucky enough to be in one of those top 12 positions, it was going to make me more prepared to make a run for the championship at that time," Hamlin said. "A win like today obviously makes you feel a little bit better. Gives you a little bit of confidence from here on out. "

Hamlin, 11th in points after two wins in three races, said he is "still a good month away from getting back where I was."

On the first lap after a restart with 18 laps left - following yellow-flag stops when Stewart was among the drivers who took only two tires and Gordon took four - they ended up three-wide with Gordon in the middle and Johnson on the inside coming out of Turn 4.

Stewart got loose in the pack and there was contact with Gordon, who had three-time Texas winner Carl Edwards coming up behind and trying to follow him. Then things spun out of control along the frontstretch, though Johnson escaped that wreck unscathed.

At Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

Lap length: 1.5 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (29) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 334 laps, 111.6 rating, 190 points, $501,800.

2. (4) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 334, 127.4, 175, $359,378.

3. (7) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 334, 95.6, 165, $277,706.

4. (11) Kurt Busch, Dodge, 334, 100.6, 165, $239,123.

5. (5) Kasey Kahne, Ford, 334, 91.9, 155, $202,640.

6. (30) Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 334, 79.9, 150, $163,450.

7. (19) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 334, 85.1, 146, $181,526.

8. (9) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 334, 116.5, 147, $143,975.

9. (14) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 334, 73, 138, $133,775.

10. (3) Greg Biffle, Ford, 334, 96.2, 139, $135,350.

11. (10) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 334, 82.5, 130, $155,579.

12. (6) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 334, 103.1, 132, $155,540.

13. (17) AJ Allmendinger, Ford, 334, 81.8, 124, $157,251.

14. (37) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 333, 63.3, 121, $144,810.

15. (13) David Ragan, Ford, 333, 68.6, 118, $125,500.

16. (23) Scott Speed, Toyota, 333, 60.9, 115, $132,473.

17. (32) Marcos Ambrose, Toyota, 333, 63.6, 112, $136,873.

18. (39) Elliott Sadler, Ford, 333, 55.8, 109, $118,700.

19. (2) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 333, 70.3, 106, $118,450.

20. (28) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 332, 68, 103, $153,551.

21. (26) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 332, 55.9, 100, $114,000.

22. (27) Max Papis, Toyota, 332, 47.7, 97, $101,100.

23. (41) Bobby Labonte, Chevrolet, 332, 42.5, 94, $103,850.

24. (35) Travis Kvapil, Ford, 331, 44.5, 96, $101,300.

25. (36) Bill Elliott, Ford, 331, 49.2, 88, $97,100.

26. (38) Robby Gordon, Toyota, 329, 36.6, 85, $112,773.

27. (40) Kevin Conway, Ford, 329, 32.9, 82, $117,360.

28. (18) Joey Logano, Toyota, 329, 60.2, 79, $131,340.

29. (31) David Gilliland, Ford, 328, 34.6, 76, $105,573.

30. (15) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, accident, 319, 74, 78, $128,979.

31. (12) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, accident, 317, 116.4, 80, $135,276.

32. (1) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, accident, 317, 101.7, 72, $152,748.

33. (20) Carl Edwards, Ford, accident, 317, 79.2, 64, $122,498.

34. (21) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, accident, 317, 76, 66, $120,031.

35. (25) Paul Menard, Ford, accident, 317, 64.7, 58, $91,500.

36. (8) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, accident, 316, 87.7, 55, $91,350.

37. (16) David Reutimann, Toyota, engine, 310, 86.7, 52, $111,656.

38. (42) Brian Vickers, Toyota, accident, 192, 41.5, 49, $121,548.

39. (43) Reed Sorenson, Toyota, electrical, 121, 39.7, 46, $79,975.

40. (22) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, transmission, 75, 35.8, 43, $79,850.

41. (33) Michael McDowell, Toyota, transmission, 60, 30.4, 45, $79,690.

42. (34) Mike Bliss, Chevrolet, vibration, 50, 27.3, 37, $79,595.

43. (24) Dave Blaney, Toyota, suspension, 20, 34.4, 34, $79,920.

Top 12 in Points: 1. J.Johnson, 1,248; 2. M.Kenseth, 1,140; 3. G.Biffle, 1,120; 4. K.Harvick, 1,107; 5. J.Gordon, 1,028; 6. Ky.Busch, 1,020; 7. D.Earnhardt Jr., 1,013; 8. J.Burton, 1,005; 9. Ku.Busch, 999; 10. M.Martin, 994; 11. D.Hamlin, 973; 12. J.Logano, 941.

• NATIONWIDE

Kyle Busch has completed an impressive drive for five - and a long NASCAR doubleheader.

Busch won its fifth consecutive Nationwide race at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday, joining two-time series champion Jack Ingram and Dale Earnhardt Sr., as the only drivers to win five consecutive races in NASCAR's second-tier series at the same track.

Only about an hour after finishing third in the rain-postponed Sprint Cup race earlier in the day - 501 miles over 334 laps - Busch led 153 of the 200 laps in the 300-mile Nationwide race, that was originally scheduled Saturday.

It was Busch's second consecutive Nationwide victory and 33rd of his career.

Busch beat Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano, the polesitter, by 0.688 seconds.

At Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

Lap length: 1.5 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (3) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 200 laps, 150 rating, 195 points, $74,245.

2. (1) Joey Logano, Toyota, 200, 127.4, 175, $54,675.

3. (22) Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 200, 109.4, 165, $51,518.

4. (12) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 200, 100.4, 160, $34,525.

5. (16) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 200, 107.3, 160, $33,400.

6. (7) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 200, 108.9, 150, $27,900.

7. (42) Greg Biffle, Ford, 200, 102.6, 146, $27,050.

8. (26) David Reutimann, Toyota, 200, 94, 142, $24,200.

9. (8) Steve Wallace, Toyota, 200, 89.8, 138, $32,578.

10. (9) Paul Menard, Ford, 200, 94.5, 134, $24,350.

11. (18) Justin Allgaier, Dodge, 200, 95.6, 130, $29,918.

12. (6) Jason Leffler, Toyota, 200, 86.1, 132, $29,618.

13. (11) Colin Braun, Ford, 200, 80.9, 124, $30,418.

14. (14) Trevor Bayne, Toyota, 200, 82.9, 121, $29,408.

15. (10) Brian Scott, Toyota, 200, 79.1, 118, $29,223.

16. (36) Michael Annett, Toyota, 200, 73.5, 120, $28,163.

17. (33) James Buescher, Chevrolet, 200, 70.8, 112, $28,053.

18. (29) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 199, 72.7, 109, $27,468.

19. (30) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 199, 65.8, 106, $27,333.

20. (15) Mike Bliss, Chevrolet, 199, 65.5, 103, $27,523.

21. (13) Brendan Gaughan, Toyota, 199, 62.4, 100, $27,313.

22. (37) Tony Raines, Chevrolet, 199, 56, 102, $27,653.

23. (40) Robert Richardson Jr., Chevrolet, 197, 42.6, 94, $27,243.

24. (35) Scott Lagasse Jr., Ford, 197, 47.2, 91, $26,733.

25. (17) Shelby Howard, Chevrolet, 197, 50.6, 88, $26,898.

26. (25) Michael McDowell, Dodge, 196, 51.6, 85, $26,638.

27. (39) Kenny Wallace, Chevrolet, 194, 38.7, 82, $26,378.

28. (38) Eric McClure, Ford, 193, 33, 79, $26,258.

29. (5) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, accident, 166, 75, 76, $26,083.

30. (4) Carl Edwards, Ford, 164, 101.2, 78, $19,805.

31. (20) Chad McCumbee, Ford, 163, 35.4, 70, $25,863.

32. (34) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, engine, 129, 58.1, 72, $26,153.

33. (21) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, electrical, 100, 51, 64, $25,643.

34. (28) David Starr, Chevrolet, engine, 84, 43.9, 61, $19,065.

35. (2) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, accident, 80, 88.1, 58, $18,955.

36. (41) Brian Keselowski, Dodge, engine, 79, 38.7, 55, $18,845.

37. (31) Justin Lofton, Toyota, accident, 65, 58.4, 52, $25,193.

38. (43) Danny Efland, Chevrolet, handling, 46, 37, 49, $18,690.

39. (27) Danny O'Quinn Jr., Chevrolet, ignition, 36, 36.4, 46, $18,615.

40. (19) Kevin Lepage, Chevrolet, axle, 33, 33.8, 43, $18,580.

41. (24) David Gilliland, Chevrolet, vibration, 29, 41.6, 40, $18,545.

42. (32) Mark Green, Chevrolet, vibration, 12, 28.9, 37, $18,490.

43. (23) Dennis Setzer, Dodge, electrical, 4, 30.8, 34, $18,440.

Top 10 in Points: 1. K.Busch, 1,154; 2. Bra.Keselowski, 1,134; 3. K.Harvick, 1,089; 4. J.Allgaier, 1,053; 5. C.Edwards, 1,048; 6. P.Menard, 938; 7. J.Logano, 903; 8. G.Biffle, 864; 9. S.Lagasse Jr., 754; 10. B.Gaughan, 751.

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