September 12, 2009

Hamlin wins on home track in Richmond

Denny Hamlin won at his home track, Richmond International, for the first time in his Sprint Cup Series career Saturday in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400.

Hamlin led 297 of 400 laps and held off Kurt Busch after a late-race restart for his second victory of the season and the sixth of his Cup career.

Jeff Gordon finished third, while Mark Martin and Kyle Busch completed the top five.

Brian Vickers finished seventh and clinched the final spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, which begins next weekend at New Hampshire. Vickers edged Busch for the last position by eight points.

Matt Kenseth entered Richmond 12th in points but failed to qualify for the Chase field with a 25th-place finish. It marked the first time Kenseth did not make the field in the six-year history of the playoff format.

Martin will begin the Chase in the top seed because of his regular season-leading four victories.