Denny Hamlin knows the history behind the No. 11 car, he knows there is a legacy and today in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway he added his name to that legacy as he brought home win 199, breaking a tie with Richard Petty's No. 43.
“They’re the ones that put this car number on the map, Ned Jarrett and those guys,” said Hamlin, of earning win No. 199. “I was just a small part of that history. I just hope that I live up to the standards of the number 11 car because there’s been some great drivers drive it and I’m just living on the legacy.”
Truex led a dominating 173 laps, but as the sun came out over the speedway, Hamlin made his move and held off Truex to earn his second victory of 2012.
“I know Martin was driving his heart out,” said Hamlin. “I know it’s disappointing not to win when you have a dominant car.”
Two-time Kansas Speedway winner Jimmie Johnson fell short of earning his third win at Kansas and Hendrick Motorsports its 200th win as he finished third, Matt Kenseth finished fourth and points leader Greg Biffle, who also has two wins at Kansas Speedway, rounded out the top five.
Emporia native Clint Bowyer had a disappointing day, suffering an engine failure in his Toyota while running in the top five. Carl Edwards finished ninth and Jamie McMurray finished 14th.
Biffle leads Truex by 15 points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, Matt Kenseth is third and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.
Kansas Speedway kicked off its repaving project after the race with the Kansas Army National Guard and 2011 STP winner Brad Keselowski taking part in the ceremonies. The official start of the repaving project will start on April 23.
Racing returns to Kansas Speedway in October and tickets are on sale now by calling 866.460.RACE (7223) or logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com.