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Hamlin steals Kansas win from Truex Jr.

Hamlin succeeded in pulling away by almost a second over the next 20 laps, but in the final ten Truex was reeling him back in again and had two attempts to dive under Hamlin through turn 3 in the final three laps, while Jimmie Johnson was well back from the battle and just a spectator in third.

"I was a little bit faster than Denny at the end, but he was running against the wall right where I needed to be, and I was just trying to gain a little bit of ground," said Truex. "It was desperation, last-ditch effort, just trying something. There was no chance to make it work."

Despite holding on to second as the chequered flag came out, Truex couldn't conceal his feelings. "I guess if we can be this disappointed with second, it kind of shows how far we've come as a race team," he said.

And at least if Michael Waltrip Racing ha to lose to anyone else, it was to Joe Gibbs Racing, their Toyota stable-mate with whom they have close technical ties this season.

It's the 199th win for the #11 car in the history of the Cup series, with previous drivers making it to victory lane including Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, Darrell Waltrip, Bill Elliott - and a win apiece for Indy 500 champions AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti and Parnelli Jones.

Soon after the chequered flag, and once the victory lane celebrations ended and the crowds and the Sprint Cup team haulers had departed, an eerie change came over Kansas Speedway as a different set of engines fired up on pit road.

Bulldozers began moving in to begin the massive repaving project on the 1.5-mile track surface that will add new variable banking to the circuit for future events. Many drivers had been unhappy to learn of the upcoming repaving, but track president Pat Warren took the media for a tour of the venue over the weekend and pointed out where the asphalt was breaking up. No question, it had to be done.

Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski got to lead the heavy machinery out to begin work - in a military tank, going some 110mph slower than his usual mode of transport here. Naturally - being Keselowski - the whole thing was tweeted, with pictures and video released via social media.

It was nonetheless a sad and poignant moment for the venue, which will never be quite the same again.

Full race results and Sprint Cup championship standings available.




Related Pictures

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Martin Truex Jr. charges to the lead during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 on Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin celebrates his first Kansas Speedway win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sunday after the STP 400 in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. With him are Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finished second, and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet SS who finished in third place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, waves to fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, picks up the victory flag Sunday, May 3, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and his crew chief, Greg Ives, celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. Johnson finished second behind Earnhardt, Jr. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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