Denny Hamlin appeared headed toward an easy victory. Then, Dale Earnhardt Jr. seemed poised to snap his two-year losing streak. In the end, surprise winner Clint Bowyer celebrated in Victory Lane, stealing a victory last night at Richmond International Raceway that ended in wild fashion. Hamlin ran away with the race and led a record 381 of the 400 laps in search of his first Cup victory at Richmond.
Nobody came close to challenging him until a leaking right front tire allowed Earnhardt and Kyle Busch to catch him. The two drivers split Hamlin as they moved past him, with Earnhardt emerging as the leader with 18 laps to go. Hamlin's tire finally failed with eight to go, and NASCAR accused him of intentionally bringing out the caution that regrouped the field.