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Hamlin dances to Bristol victory

"I don't know if an oil line broke or what, but something happened between three and four because I started to slide around in my own oil," he said. "That was kind of the end of our night."

While most of the leaders took the chance to pit - Kahne more than once to get the damage sorted out - Logano stayed out and picked up the lead once more ahead of Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Marcos Ambrose who were all following the same strategy. Vickers was looking ready to pounce on Logano for the lead when the yellows were out for a crash involving Ryan Newman, which started when Juan Montoya tapped Newman coming out of turn 4 and ended with Newman collecting Jeff Burton on the front stretch.

"He just said somebody got into the left-rear of him and cut the left-rear tyre," explained Newman's crew chief Tony Gibson. "The lap before that he started getting really loose and then the very next lap, it just turned around on him. He didn't say anything about the #42 car - I think we were going to spin out no matter what with that left-rear tyre. By the time we saw it he has already spun. It's a shame."

"I saw Ryan got in trouble and he started spinning," said Burton of the incident from his point of view. "He looked like he was going to stay against the wall, and so I committed to the bottom and then he started in and I couldn't get turned back to the right. It was pretty disappointing. We had a really fast car tonight."

Burton was able to get the #31 repaired and rejoin the race after a length delay, but Newman was done for the night: "[The impact] drove the frame into the motor and it's just too far gone. We couldn't fix it; not safe enough to go back out," confirmed Gibson.

Differing pit strategies saw Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Juan Montoya, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer take charge for the restart on lap 200, with Hamlin soon proving the fastest of the pack and taking the lead six laps later. He didn't have long out front before Aric Almirola and David Gilliland got together in turn 1 on lap 224 and found the wall as a result, bring out out another caution during which Hamlin was the first of about half the field to come down pit road.

Now it was Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth in control of the restart with Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski in close support as the race passed the halfway point. However, Keselowski's hopes for a successful day ended on lap 271 when he spun out of turn 2 and slammed the nose into the inside wall to bring out the seventh caution of the race.

"Something happened to the #55 car, Brian Vickers, and he checked-up," said Keselowski. "I don't know if he had an engine problem or something of that nature and it just checked-up the whole line. I couldn't go anywhere and got hit from behind and it put me into the fence. Not really anybody's fault. It's just a combination of factors of the way the racing is now here. We got caught up in it.”

Ongoing off-sync pit strategies meant another change at the front, with Jimmie Johnson now in charge for the restart on lap 276 ahead of Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards, all of whom chose not to pit. That stayed fairly constant through to the next caution on lap 322 for an accident involving Regan Smith and Kurt Busch, and the ensuing pit stops once again changed the line-up at the front.

Now it was Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart on the front row for the restart on lap 328, but this proved a disastrous combination as the two fought over the lead over the next few laps and finally made repeated contact on lap 333, which finally sent Kenseth sliding across the frontstretch into the inside wall where he was collected by Stewart. Kenseth's wounded car was able to drive away from the scene of the accident, but Stewart was left fuming - and when he got the chance, he threw his helmet into the nose of the #17 when it was in range.




Related Pictures

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Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 25, 2012, in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 Outback Steak House Chevrolet, spins out in front of Dave Blaney, driver of the #36 SealWrap Chevrolet, and Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, after an incident in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 25, 2012, in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 25, 2012, in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualified for twelfth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. After a three-race absence, Tony Stewart has returned to the track at Atlanta. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, qualified for fourth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Newman is 9th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Larson is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, won the Pole position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. It was Harvick`s sixth pole win of the 2014 season. He is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart at Dover International Speedway on May 30 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR Media)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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