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AdventHealth 400: Denny Hamlin Wins Kansas Thriller, Noah Gragson Confronts Ross Chastain


Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin won his first race of the 2023 season, the 49th of his NASCAR Cup Series career and the 203rd Cup win for Coach Gibbs. (Photo: Jonathan Bachman | Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - After a dramatic final stretch that ended with Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson hitting the wall, Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin won the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway with a thrilling last-lap pass.


Hamlin, who made his NASCAR Cup Series debut at Kansas in October 2005, earned his fourth career win at the track 18 years later en route to his 49th career win in the NASCAR Cup Series after leading 38 laps.


In addition to Hamlin winning, Joe Gibbs Racing also earned its 400th NASCAR win and 203rd victory in the Cup Series since debuting in the sport in 1992.


"Yeah, so proud of this whole FedEx team," Hamlin said in a post-race interview with Fox Sports' Regan Smith. "I got position on him there, was trying to side-draft him but clipped his left rear. Glad he was able to at least finish. Proud of my FedEx team, though. 400 wins now for Joe Gibbs Racing, just such a great accomplishment for them."


Hamlin earned 51 total points at Kansas after winning Stage 1 and finishing 10th in Stage 2.


Larson, who led a race-high 85 laps, came home to finish second and earned 38 points after making contact with Hamlin on the final lap that led to the No. 5 Chevrolet getting into the wall.

"I was really loose," Larson said in a post-race interview. "I was trying to do what I could to manage it, just was really loose at that end, and yeah, just he was a little bit better than me there at the end."


The 2023 AdventHealth 400 saw not only the most lead changes (37) in the history of Kansas Speedway, but it was also the most lead changes ever for a 400-mile race at a 1.5-mile track, according to Fox Sports broadcaster Mike Joy.


The Fight

Most of the on-track action was overshadowed by the post-race fight between Legacy Motor Club's Noah Gragson and Trackhouse Racing's Ross Chastain.


After the race, Gragson went up to Chastain to express his frustration about an on-track incident that ruined the rookie's strong performance. Both drivers had to be separated after the confrontation on pit road.


“I got fenced by the No. 1 driver and it ruined our day," Gragson said. "I hate it for this No. 42 Sunseeker Chevy team as we had a great car today and were able to earn some stage points.


"It was probably one of the best runs we had going as we made our way into the top-10. Next week is Darlington, which is a great track for us, so I'm looking forward to that."

Other Race Facts

Denny Hamlin's AdventHealth 400 win was the 49th win of his Cup Series career which ties him with Tony Stewart for 15th all-time in NASCAR Cup Series wins.


All six Toyotas in the field scored at least two stage points, while five of the six Camrys led at least three laps during the spring race at Kansas to combine for 148 total laps led or 55% of the race.


Every driver inside the top nine led at least three laps during the race.


Despite only having one win in the first 12 races, Ford currently occupies the same amount of playoff spots as Chevrolet at the moment (six). Chevrolet has seven wins in 2023 while Toyota only has three.


Results from the 2023 AdventHealth 400 are listed here.

GRID Ranking

The 2023 GRID Ranking is the seventh year of the premier motorsport ranking in the world and it was initially released on Sunday, April 2.


Drivers in the seven racing series participating in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) have earned GRID Ratings, which helped determine their seeding during Week 5 of the 2023 GRID Ranking.


After Kansas, Christopher Bell, who was the only NASCAR driver inside the top-10 of the GRID Ranking, has fallen back out with his last-place finish.


Here's how NASCAR is represented in Week 6 of the GRID Ranking.

DRIVER

OLD RATING

PREVIOUS RANKING

MOST RECENT FINISH

NEW RATING

NEW RANKING

Kyle Larson

10.47

23rd

2nd

11.76

Tied 14th

Christopher Bell

12.70

10th

36th

11.64

16th

William Byron

10.21

25th

4th

11.16

21st

Tyler Reddick

9.69

29th

9th

9.12

Tied 31st

Joey Logano

N/A

N/A

6th

9.12

Tied 31st

Week 6 of the GRID Ranking:

The next race on the calendar for the NASCAR Cup Series is throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway for the Goodyear 400 on Sunday, May 14 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1.


GRID NETWORK

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