Denny Hamlin On Kansas Race Finish: It Wasn't That Outlandish

“Especially when it comes down to a green-while checker, anything can happen in that scenario."- he said.

by Sead Dedovic
Denny Hamlin On Kansas Race Finish: It Wasn't That Outlandish
© Logan Riely/Getty Images Sport

The last race in Kansas, where Kyle Larson beat Chris Buescher to the start/finish line by 0.001 seconds, caused shock among NASCAR fans. Immediately after the race, rumors emerged regarding this photo finish. The reactions from fans and experts are mixed. 

While some believe that NASCAR officials did a great job with the cameras to determine the winner, there are also those who believe Larson isn't the winner of this race. In any case, the race brought a lot of excitement, and it's unlikely we'll have the chance to see such a finish again in the near future. 

NASCAR legend Denny Hamlin, in his Actions Detrimental podcast, analyzed this race, putting an accent on the finish. Hamlin pointed out that he wasn't shocked by the finish in Kansas.

“Especially when it comes down to a green-while checker, anything can happen in that scenario. When you have cars come off pit road, they do have tires, at least right side tires like the two winners had. It’s an opportunity for cars to get side-by-side and then stall each other out and then have a great finish."- Hamlin said, as quoted by On3!

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag over Chris Buescher, driver of the #17 Castro
Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag over Chris Buescher, driver of the #17 Castro© Logan Riely/Getty Images Sport

Hamlin indicated that while the close finish in the NASCAR race wasn't particularly surprising given the circumstances, there was a moment of anticipation going into Turn 3 on the last lap. Despite Chris Buescher holding a clear lead, there was a belief that he wouldn't allow Kyle Larson to challenge him for the lead, yet Larson managed to position himself alongside Buescher, setting the stage for the exciting conclusion.

Larson has once again demonstrated his dedication and readiness to fight until the very end. This is one of the reasons why many respect him and why he has such a large fan base. Achieving such a victory is a huge accomplishment and a huge boost.

Hamlin is happy to have had the opportunity to be part of such a race, considering the overall event fantastic from start to finish. He believes that the races in Bristol and Kansas are probably the two best races of the year, but also ones where the tires wear out quickly.

Hamlin emphasized the importance of maintaining the current tire setup, as changing it could potentially affect the quality of the racing, which he described as absolutely amazing.

Kyle Larson reacts after the victory

Kyle Larson couldn't hide his excitement after another exciting race where he excelled. The 31-year-old NASCAR driver expressed gratitude for the opportunity. He admitted to giving his all, believing he could achieve victory, which ultimately happened. Following this win, he is currently leading, with the intention of maintaining that position in the coming weeks.

“I was obviously thankful for that caution. We were dying pretty bad. Was happy to come out third, and figured my best shot was me choose bottom and try and split three wide to the inside. Worked out my car turned well and was able to get some runs."- Larson said.

Kyle Larson wins at Kansas
Kyle Larson wins at Kansas© Sean Gardner/Getty Images Sport

Larson described the key moments of the race, explaining how he managed to navigate through turns 1 and 2 smoothly and gain an important draft behind Chris Buescher on the backstretch. 

He detailed his strategy of entering the corner aggressively and committing to the high line despite uncertainty about whether he would make it through. 

Larson acknowledged encountering a moment of instability in the center of the corner but focused on preventing Buescher from side drafting and minimizing his momentum. He characterized the experience as intense and challenging.

Denny Hamlin on what Buescher could have done differently

Denny Hamlin, as an experienced figure, also had advice for Buescher, believing that this talented driver could have potentially approached the race differently and secured the victory. Speaking about what Buescher could have done differently, Hamlin shared his opinion.

According to Hamlin, there might have been alternative approaches Buescher could have taken to potentially secure the victory over Kyle Larson. Hamlin explained his perspective, suggesting that Buescher's decision to run the bottom line in turns one and two might not have been the most advantageous strategy. He reasoned that considering Larson's strength in running the higher line and building momentum, Buescher could have explored different options to increase his chances of winning.

Considering the situation, Hamlin proposed an alternative strategy, suggesting that running the middle line in turns one and two might have been more advantageous for Buescher.

Now it's probably too late for some things, but every race is certainly an important lesson for all drivers, and this time for Buescher as well. He had the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson. Such defeats can be demotivating for many, but they can also motivate a driver to change certain things about themselves. One thing is for sure; Buescher didn't have luck in this race, but we have no doubt that it will come back to him in another race.

Denny Hamlin