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Hamlin, Larson crash out of Quaker State 400

June 28, 2014, Kenny Bruce,

Blown tire the culprit for both No. 11, No. 42 teams

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Denny Hamlin suffered his third consecutive finish outside the top 25 after he crashed early during Saturday night's Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway.


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"It looked like the tire just came apart," Hamlin said after exiting the care center. "A product of a green race track and we were one lap from getting that competition caution.

"My car really didn't give me any indication we were burning up the right front (tire). I made sure I kept it under me the entire run. (It) just couldn't last the 30 laps that we needed it to."

Hamlin was running third at the time of his accident, which occurred in Turn 4 on Lap 28. He was listed as 42nd on the rundown following his incident, the first car officially out of the race.

He entered Saturday night's race 13th in points, with a win earlier this season at Talladega Superspeedway. His two starts coming into the Kentucky race resulted in finishes of 29th at Michigan and 26th at Sonoma. Prior to those races, he had been eighth in points.

"We needed that competition caution one lap sooner," he said. " ... I just heard it pop and when it did it was very reminiscent of last year."

Hamlin wasn't the only one to endure early misfortune -- Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Larson also collected the wall and retired from the race after 75 laps.

Larson said his No. 42 Chevrolet also blew a right front.

"This is the first time that's ever happened to me in stock car racing," he said. " … We were hoping for a good points day to pad our points … before we go to Daytona where it's a real crapshoot.

"It's disappointing to have two weekends that didn't end up very well the last couple of races."

Larson finished 28th last week at Sonoma. He was 10th in points before Saturday's 40th-place result.


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