Denny Hamlin wins Coca-Cola 600, grabs 2nd win of the season (5-29-22)

By: Becca Cottingham Quimby

Headline Photo Credit: NASCAR Twitter Page

Today we head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola Cola 600 the longest race of the year. It is also the most emotional race of the year as we honor and remember fallen soldiers that have paid the price for our freedom. We start the race and Denny will lead the initial laps but it will not take long before his teammate Kyle Busch will take over the lead. We will get our first caution. Multiple drivers will be involved in this incident but should be able to continue as they all appear outwardly to have only minor damage. There will be multiple penalties on this pit stop. Martin Truex Jr had two penalties with an uncontrolled tire plus speeding on pit road. Ryan Blaney also got caught speeding on pit road. We will get back to racing and Josh Bilicki hits the wall fairly hard. This will bring out the second caution of the stage and will place everyone within their pit windows. Kyle Larson will remove equipment from the pit box and this will send him to the rear of the field. We head back to green flag racing and things are going great until there appears to have been possible contact between Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez. We get the fourth Caution before the end of stage one where Corey Lajoie spins and hits the wall and will be done for the day. The teams only have thirteen sets of tires and most of them have gone through two to three sets already in stage one. Kyle Larson will be sent to the back again due to tire interference so he will have to make his way from the back once again. Kyle Busch and his team will also continue making repairs on his car since they are no longer on the crash clock. The rest of the stage will be an uneventful wreck-wise, but eventful with action on the track. Multiple drivers such as Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson are driving from the back. Kyle Busch made more progress and almost made it back to the top fifteen. Chase Elliot will win his stage on the Charlotte mile and half-track.

We will start stage two with Chase Elliot and Christopher Bell leading the way. Ross Chastain makes moves and will take over the lead. Bubba Wallace has a tire go down and this will cause the car to go around and bring out a caution. Kyle Larson will have his car catch fire after fueling the car and he will radio into the crew that this is his worst race to date. Chase Elliot will win the battle off of pit road and will bring us back to green. We just do get back to the green well with roughly eighteen laps and Austin Cindric hits the wall hard. Tires are going to be a huge factor for the rest of the race as everyone wants tires every caution. Ryan Blaney will smack the wall and then Kyle Larson will then spin out not far behind him. We get back to green flag racing and we have some drivers being bold with three-wide racing at the restart. Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain will go battling one another for the lead. The teammates are both wanting a win but we still have a lot of racing left to do. Going for the lead Chase Elliot will scrap the wall and go through the grass. The team will have to go to work to fix the toe link on the car. We will get back to green and something happens with Ryan Blaney and multiple cars are collected in the accident. There were roughly twelve cars in the big one at Charlotte. Per Ryan Blaney, his car just went right sounding like something broke in the car. They decided not to red flag the race for the cleanup and this will line us for a very fun couple of laps. Teammates at Trackhouse will go back to battling and Daniel Suarez will hold on for the stage two win. Followed by his teammate Ross Chastain.

They will bring the cars down pit road and shut the engines off. The crews will climb on the pit wall and fans will stand in the stands in a moment of silence to honor and remember. The track will go completely silent and it is beyond powerful. The cars will then get the normal service for the third stage. We will head back to racing for the third stage and drivers are all over the place. Kevin Harvick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr have some kind of issue and the next thing we know Kevin Harvick is in the wall. Christopher Bell with tire problems was able to make it to pit road to put scuffs. Ross Chastain will hold on and will win stage three.

We start stage four for the last hundred lap shootout. Things will become even wilder as they will be ready to lay everything out on the line. We see another penalty on pit road for Alex Bowman for an equipment violation. The radio comes alive for Tyler Reddick as he says he has a tire going down. He will have to make an unscheduled pitstop to get tires. This will also lead us into our fifteen caution for the night due to debris on the track. We get back to racing and just when we think things are settled down other than the battles there is a wreck. Daniel Suarez has a hard hit and this collects Chase Briscoe and several other drivers. Chris Buescher had a violet flip as the right front tire gets underneath the car and it catches in the in-field. They will get Chris’ car flipped slowly and he will get out of the car to cheers. The red flag will be released and we will head back to green. With less than fifty laps to go Ross Chastain and Kyle Larson will go head to head for the lead. They will battle for a few laps and Kyle Larson will get the lead eventually. Then Chase Briscoe gets around Ross Chastain. Kyle Larson and Chase Briscoe will then go to battle. The battle will end at almost the end of the race. When Chase Briscoe went for it and just did miss the mark and went into the wall. This will send us into overtime. We get through almost the first portion of overtime and Austin Dillion sends it and then gets loose. This will cause another crash and will send us to a second overtime. Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch will line up on the front row and will battle to the checkered flag. Denny Hamlin will become our unofficial winner of the Coca-Cola 600.