Denny Hamlin bounced back from multiple setbacks to overtake Matt DiBenedetto with 11 laps to go and win the Bristol Night Race on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Hamlin’s comeback spoiled DiBenedetto’s attempt at an improbable victory just days after Leavine Family Racing told him his services would not be needed for the 2020 season. Hamlin even apologized to the No. 95 camp during his post-race interview for taking away the win.
But it was Hamlin in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota who came away with his fourth victory of the 2019 season after not recording a win in 2018. The victory was Hamlin’s 35th in the Monster Energy Series and his second at Bristol, and it extended his career-best streak of top-five finishes to six races. The recent performance is arguably putting Hamlin’s name in the championship conversation.
Meanwhile, DiBenedetto came home second and wore his emotion on pit road post-race, even vowing that somehow, some way he’d find another ride and that he wasn’t done yet. Brad Keselowski finished third, Kyle Busch was fourth and William Clyde Elliott, Jr. rounded out the top five. Stage 1 winner Kyle Larson finished sixth with Clint Bowyer seventh, Daniel Suarez eighth, Stage 2 winner Kurt Busch ninth and Ryan Blaney 10th.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
Well there was one player who was riding shotgun with the race winner this week. It seems that Linda R. The Lemonade Lefty saved her 2nd segment Denny Hamlin pick for the very last race, Bristol baby! The Delivernator delivered 40 big points for the race to the Lemonade Lefty.
THE MOVERS AND THE SHAKERS
Even though Denny Hamlin won the race this week, he did not deliver the highest score to our players. The highest scorer this week is Edie The Las Vegas Super Star. The Vegas Super Star pulled out her Elliott choice for the last race of this segment. The second generation driver from Dawsonville, GA, brought his HMS Chevy home in 5th place and put 46 points into The Super Star’s coffer.
Bernie The Bay Area Bandit and Leon Your Most Humble Sheriff were stowaways inside Easy Money’s hot rod Saturday. Both players finished out this segment adding 41 points to their tallies for Kyle Larson’s 6th place finish.
The quintet of Karen The Highly Opinionated Southern Belle, Lonna The Quilt Angel, Linda R. The Lemonade Lefty, Bobby Blue Crush, as well as Wild Bill The Pretzel Man all racked up 40 points. The Highly Opinionated One and The Pretzel Man gathered up their score from Kurt Busch’s 9th place finish. Lonna The Quilt Angel and Bobby Blue Crush received their score from Kyle Busch’s 6th place finish. And as was mentioned above, The Lemonade Lefty picked the winner and loaded up her totals from The Delivernator.
Our segment winner Kathy The Church Forecloser made a very late segment charge to the top of the scoring pylon and accumulated 32 points from YRB’s, Young Ryan Blaney, 10th place finish.
Rounding out the top five scorers this week is the unlikely duo of Dan The Numbers Cruncher and Jeremy The Coach. Each player added 30 points to their 2nd segment bucket from Clint Bowyer’s 7th place finish.
To be the last race in the 2nd segment one would think that the positions would be fairly locked in. Oh contrare my friends! Sixteen of the eighteen players swapped zip codes this week. The only players who remained in the previous week’s position was Wild Bill The Pretzel Man and Lonna The Quilt Angel.
The player who made the biggest move for the last race of segment number two is Carlton The Doorman. The Doorman fell slightly, three places, to finish out the segment in 8th place.
Meanwhile, seven players, Snoopy Dawn, Linda R, The Lemonade Lefty, Bernie The Bay Area Bandit, Karen The Highly Opinionated Southern Belle, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, David The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey, as well as Jim, aka Chiefy, all moved two places this week. The Lemonade Lefty, The Bay Area Bandit, The Highly Opinionated One, and The Las Vegas Super Star all moved up two places to rest in 4th, 7th, 10, and 11th, respectively. However, The Mudslinger and Chiefy fell two spots to land in 12th and 13th, respectively.
The remaining eight players eight moved up or down just one spot.
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
As you all noticed when you checked the final scores, there was a tie for the prestigious 2nd segment Outhouse Award. It appears that Jermey The Coach made a last race run on The Outhouse and was able to free fall right into The Crapper in the nick of time!
I have had to contract some interior changes this segment. Normally, during the segment, there was room for only player at a time. However, there are now two players, a male and a female, who are sharing this award. And keeping with the morals of this fantasy league we are having portions installed as appropriate for privacy!
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT AND LET’ GO RACIN’!