It looked for a moment as if Kyle Larson would get his revenge on Joey Logano for beating him out last weekend to win the Sprint Cup All-Star race.
But then Denny Hamlin — aided by a caution flag — powered past.
Hamlin passed Larson and Logano in overtime to win the Xfinity Series race Saturday on a hot and slick racetrack at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“It was a second opportunity. I was hoping for that caution and we got it,” Hamlin said.
Larson appeared to have victory in his sights after passing Logano with six laps remaining to take the lead. But Erik Jones had a tire go down with less than two laps to go, bringing out the yellow flag and forcing a two-lap overtime situation, prompting Larson’s crew chief Mike Shiplett to throw up his hands in utter frustration.
Larson and Logano, who were running 1-2, elected to stay on the track while Hamlin pitted for four tires.
The strategy proved correct for Hamlin.
Hamlin, who was sixth on the restart, first passed Larson, who got loose and hit the wall, and then Logano to win going away on fresh tires. Logano and Larson had run 40 laps on old tires and simply couldn’t compete.
Monaco Grand Prix
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has taken pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, whose car stalled in the final part of qualifying.
Ricciardo had signaled his intent with the fastest time in Thursday’s final practice and — with Hamilton’s mechanics working frantically on his car in the Mercedes garage — the Australian zoomed up the leaderboard with a time of 1 minute, 13.622 seconds.
With Monaco being arguably the hardest track of all to overtake on, the Australian has a great chance of victory in Sunday’s race.
Rosberg, the runaway championship leader, will start from second as he bids for his fifth win in six races this season and is well placed to extend his 43-point lead over Hamilton.