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Food City 500 Race Results

Bristol Motor Speedway

March 17th, 2024

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RESULTS

START POS

FINAL STATUS

LAPS COMPLETED

LAPS LED

POINTS

PLAYOFF POINTS

1

Denny Hamlin

11 |

3

Running

500

163

44

5

2

Martin Truex Jr

19 |

11

Running

500

54

44

0

3

Brad Keselowski

6 |

17

Running

500

1

50

0

4

Alex Bowman

48 |

29

Running

500

3

33

0

5

Kyle Larson

5 |

10

Running

500

19

44

0

6

John H. Nemechek

42 |

26

Running

499

0

44

0

7

Chris Buescher

17 |

34

Running

499

17

38

0

8

Chase Elliott

9 |

5

Running

499

5

29

0

9

Ty Gibbs

54 |

19

Running

499

137

48

2

10

Christopher Bell

20 |

12

Running

499

29

36

0

11

Michael McDowell

34 |

7

Running

499

0

26

0

12

Josh Berry

4 |

2

Running

499

25

26

0

13

Chase Briscoe

14 |

6

Running

498

0

24

0

14

Ryan Preece

41 |

25

Running

498

0

26

0

15

Ross Chastain

1 |

36

Running

498

0

22

0

16

Ryan Blaney

12 |

1

Running

498

14

26

0

17

Justin Haley

51 |

32

Running

498

0

20

0

18

Daniel Suárez

99 |

28

Running

498

0

19

0

19

Kaz Grala

15 |

33

Running

498

0

18

0

20

Erik Jones

43 |

15

Running

498

0

17

0

21

Corey LaJoie

7 |

18

Running

498

4

16

0

22

Joey Logano

22 |

4

Running

498

5

23

0

23

AJ Allmendinger

16 |

30

Running

498

0

0

0

24

Austin Dillon

3 |

31

Running

498

0

13

0

25

Kyle Busch

8 |

14

Running

498

5

12

0

26

Todd Gilliland

38 |

24

Running

497

0

11

0

27

Carson Hocevar

77 |

35

Running

497

0

10

0

28

Daniel Hemric

31 |

20

Running

496

0

9

0

29

Bubba Wallace

23 |

9

Running

496

15

10

0

30

Tyler Reddick

45 |

23

Running

495

4

7

0

31

Austin Cindric

2 |

21

Running

495

0

6

0

32

Harrison Burton

21 |

13

Running

495

0

5

0

33

Ricky Stenhouse Jr

47 |

27

Running

495

0

4

0

34

Noah Gragson

10 |

22

Running

494

0

3

0

35

William Byron

24 |

8

Running

492

0

2

0

36

Zane Smith

71 |

16

Engine

192

0

1

0

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  • POS 1 | LEADER

    Denny Hamlin

    POS1

    LEADER

    Denny Hamlin

    Driver badge number 11 |

  • POS 2 | 1.083

    Martin Truex Jr.

    POS2

    1.083

    Martin Truex Jr.

    Driver badge number 19 |

  • POS 3 | 7.284

    Brad Keselowski

    POS3

    7.284

    Brad Keselowski

    Driver badge number 6 |

Denny Hamlin fends off teammate Truex to score Bristol win

BRISTOL, Tenn. — How appropriate.

On a day where tire management was the essential element in a NASCAR Cup Series race, three veterans swept the podium positions, with Denny Hamlin winning Sunday‘s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

In a race that produced 54 lead changes — a record for Cup Series short tracks — Hamlin lost the lead briefly to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. in the closing laps but regained it in traffic and beat Truex to the finish line by 1.083 seconds.

RELATED: Full results | At-track photos

In a return to concrete after three straight spring races on dirt, Hamlin won his second straight race at the 0.533-mile speedway and his fourth overall, second-most among active drivers to Kyle Busch‘s eight.

The victory was the 52nd of Hamlin‘s career, 13th all-time and his first this season.

But the story was the tires and the mysterious way they behaved in a race that saw the track start to eat through to the cords 45 laps into a green-flag run.

Goodyear brought the same tire that ran without issues in last fall‘s night race, but on Sunday, the concrete surface did not take rubber. Instead, marbles (small balls of rubber from degraded tires) accumulated high in the corners, making the top of the track untenable.

There were two variables that might have helped to account for the tire issues. The temperature was roughly 10-15 degrees cooler than it was for last year‘s night race, which was run on Sept. 16.

NASCAR also opted for a different resin in the bottom lane from the PJ1 traction compound previously in use.

Whatever the cause, with his short-track background, Hamlin was best equipped to deal with the surprising situation.

“That’s what I grew up here doing in the short tracks in the Mid Atlantic, South Boston, Martinsville,” said Hamlin, who grew up in Chesterfield, Viriginia. “Once it became a tire-management race, I really liked our chances.

“Obviously, the veteran in Martin, he knew how to do it as well. We just had a great car, great team. The pit crew just did a phenomenal job all day. Can’t say enough about them. … Man, it feels so good to win in Bristol.”

SHOP: Race winner gear

Truex passed Hamlin for the lead in traffic on Lap 483 but surrendered the top spot to the race winner one lap later, as the teammates worked around slower cars. Truex‘s tires gave up the ghost on the last few circuits, as Hamlin pulled away.

“Apparently, that’s what I needed to have happen here at Bristol to have a shot at winning — I guess this tire management thing fit into my wheelhouse here at Bristol,” Truex said.

“Man, the difference was just coming out of the pits so far behind Denny (after green-flag pit stops during the final run). I had to use mine up more on the last run. The last four, five laps of the race, was cord.”

Hamlin led a race-high 163 laps, as the four JGR drivers spent a combined 383 of 500 laps at the front field, with Ty Gibbs leading 137, Truex 54 and Christopher Bell 29.

Brad Keselowski, a three-time winner at the track, finished third, 7.284 seconds behind Hamlin. Hendrick Motorsports drivers Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson were fourth and fifth, respectively, as only five drivers finished on the lead lap.

The last time five or fewer drivers finished on the lead lap was the June 6, 2004 race at Dover.

John Hunter Nemechek, Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, Gibbs and Bell came home sixth through 10th, respectively.

Larson and Truex leave Bristol tied for the series lead, passing defending series champion Ryan Blaney, who finished 16th.

William Byron, the Daytona 500 winner, hit the wall at Lap 21 and lost numerous laps on pit road, ultimately finishing 35th, eight laps down.

The Cup Series makes the shift to its first road course of 2024 as Circuit of The Americas awaits next Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Notes: No issues were found in post-race inspection in the Cup Series garage, confirming Hamlin‘s first victory of the season. No cars were taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center for teardown inspection.

Contributing: Staff report.