Denny Hamlin overcame two loose wheels and to prevail and deny Matt DiBenedetto of his first win in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver ran down the Leavine Family Racing driver the final 40 laps and dispatched him with 11 circuits remaining to claim his fourth win of the year and second in the last four races.

Hamlin started the 500-lap race from the pole position and dueled with Kyle Larson for the first half of the race's opening stint. His blistering pace went sideways on Lap 79 when he got collected in an accident involving Austin Dillon and Jimmie Johnson.

He then fell to the rear of the top ten while Larson picked up the point and held off a late charge from Chase Elliott to take the stage win.

Elliott won the race off pit road and led the opening 33 laps of the stage before giving way to Kevin Harvick on Lap 165.

The 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion pulled away and led the next 28 circuits as Hamlin pitted for a loose wheel on Lap 187.

He got trapped a lap down three laps later when Aric Almirola crashed with J.J. Yeley in Turn 3. The yellow flag pitstops shuffled the order and put Martin Truex, Jr. up front.

Truex, Jr. commanded the race for the next 52 laps but saw his hopes for a stage win dashed on Lap 242 when Clint Bowyer's spin brought out the yellow.

That forced Truex to pit road while Kurt Busch stayed out and fend off a hard-charging Daniel Suarez to take the stage win.

Kurt handed the lead to brother Kyle under the stage break while Elliott, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski and Truex, Jr. followed.

Busch led the first five laps of the stage before giving way to Keselowski on Lap 260. The Team Penske kept Busch at bay for 85 laps until Busch re-obtained the lead on Lap 350.

The pair swapped the lead a handful of times over the next ten laps until the caution flew on Lap 362 when Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and William Bryon crashed and collected Joey Logano.

A quick pitstop kept Busch in the lead ahead of teammate Erik Jones, Keselowski, Elliot and Clint Bowyer.

The race restarted on Lap 371 and Erik Jones pounced on his teammate to take the lead on Lap 373 just as Ryan Blaney blew a tyre and caused a chain reaction that collected Front Row Motorsports Teammates Michael McDowell as well as Jimmie Johnson and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

Jones jetted away on the Lap 388 restart as DiBenedetto snaked past Busch to move into second.

DiBenedetto passed Jones for the lead coming off Turn 2 on Lap 396 as Jones clobbered the Turn 2 wall. The damage proved to be too severe to run competitively and forced him to pit for repairs and move Elliott up to second.

The gap between DiBenedetto and Elliott see-sawed the next 40 laps as the pair navigated lapped traffic. That fell into Denny Hamlin's favour as he overtook Elliott for the second spot while DiBenedetto damaged his left front fender after making contact with the lapped car of Ryan Newman.

That slowed him just enough to allow Hamlin to methodically chip away at the Grass Valley, California driver's lead throughout the next 20 laps. Hamlin closed to within a car length with 19 laps remaining and took over the point with 11 laps remaining.

DiBenedetto couldn't stay close and Hamlin took the chequered flag .502s ahead.

While he celebrated the win, the driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry showed empathy for DiBenedetto.

"I'm just want to say sorry to Matt DiBendetto and Mike Wheeler (his crew chief). I hate it," Hamlin said. "I know a win would mean a lot to that team but I got to give 110 percent to my whole team."

He continued that the final run to the checkers came down to staying calm and listening to the guidance from his team

"Between my spotter and crew chief, they just stayed on me to not be anxious. I took my time. I had plenty of time. I just worked him over and worked him over.

"I didn't want to show him the bottom (lane) until I knew I could make the pass. So I ran the top, ran the top, got the position on the bottom and finished it. We had a great car, came back from a couple laps down and here we are."

DiBenedetto's career-best second-place finish comes just days after announcing that he will leave LFR at season's end.

Keselowski moved up to third in the final laps while Kyle Busch took fourth as Chase Elliott completed the top five.

Filling out the rest of the top ten were Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman.

The durable finishes by Bowyer, Suarez and Newman intensified the battle for the final cutoff position in for the playoffs. Newman stands 14 points to the good in 15th with Suarez holding onto 16th - a scant two-point advantage over Bowyer.

Jimmie Johnson took a significant blow in the standings by finishing 19th after getting collected in a crash. He now lies 26 points outside the cut line with two races remaining in the regular season.