Denny Hamlin checked all of the boxes on Sunday. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver earned his first top-ten finish in grand fashion, winning the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. Hamlin's first victory of the season was also the first for the team and the first for Toyota. This is the fourth Richmond win for the hometown driver, and the 47th of his Cup career.

The race came down to the final few laps, in a frantic battle between four drivers. William Byron was leading, trying to fend off the hard-charging Martin Truex Jr. Just behind them, on a different strategy, were Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. With just four laps remaining, Hamlin was able to grab the lead and fended off Harvick for a much-needed victory.

"Just great strategy there," Hamlin exclaimed. "Just drove as hard as I could. Just so proud of this whole FedEx Camry team, man, just never giving up. There was no doubt in my mind, maybe just a little, but they got this car right there towards the end. Wow, unbelievable."

Hamlin was 22nd in the points standings heading into today's race. “We needed a data point, something, a good run to kind of balance ourselves on other tracks. Obviously, I think we got it here.” The victory snapped an 11-race winless streak for Toyota, their longest drought since going 32 races without a win between 2014 and 2015.

Today's victory is the 18th for Gibbs at Richmond, and their sixth out of the last eight here. This is also the third consecutive race here where all four JGR drivers finished inside the top ten.

Harvick came up just short in his bid to get his first win since the 2020 Bristol night race, but the driver of the No. 4 Ford Mustang was pleased with his season-best runner-up finish. “We had a shot there at the end,” Harvick said. “I wanted to be close enough at the white to take a swipe at him, but lapped cars got in the way there. I’m just really proud. I’m proud of the team for staying in there and having a great strategy. It was really the first clean day we’ve had all year.”

Byron held on for a 3rd place finish after leading 122 laps. Truex finished just behind him in 4th, as both drivers tried to stretch the final 170-lap stage on just one pit stop. Kyle Larson rounded out the top five, in what was a solid day for Hendrick Motorsports. Truex, who has dominated the race in recent years, was upset with how the final laps played out.

"I mean, it’s frustrating. But that’s part of it here. It’s part of the whole day," Truex said. "Obviously, we did good there for a while. James Small did a great job all day with strategy, getting us up front, getting us the lead. Our Auto Owners Camry TRD was super-fast out front, super-fast in clean air. At the end, I think we just tried to gamble, tried to gamble on beating Byron. He ended up trying to do our strategy, which we both screwed up.”

Martin's teammate Christopher Bell led 63 laps today and delivered a solid 6th place finish. The youngest of the four JGR drivers continues to excel on the 0.75-mile oval. Pole sitter Ryan Blaney led the most laps (129) today, including the Stage 1 win, but an issue late in the race took him out of contention as the Team Penske driver finished in 7th place.

Alex Bowman had another solid outing in his No. 48 Chevrolet, finishing 8th after recovering from a pit road penalty. Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon rounded out the top ten on Sunday. For Busch, it was another day that was shaping up very nicely, only for something to go wrong at the end. After running inside the top five all afternoon, the No. 18 crew mistakenly put a piece of tape on the front of his Toyota that NASCAR penalized them for.

Crew chief Ben Beshore explained the mistake. “We missed putting brake tape on and that’s what happened,” Beshore said. “I didn’t think it would stick, to be honest. I thought it would fall off and it wouldn’t be a problem because the grilles are…wire and big fat openings. I figured as soon as we went and pushed somebody it would fly right off.”

While the JGR Toyotas turned things around, the two Camry's with 23XI Racing had another disastrous day. Kurt Busch lost power in his No. 45 machine just eight laps into the race, and returned later only to finish 35th. Bubba Wallace was never able to get his No. 23 Toyota near the front of the field, and had to settle for a 26th place result.

There have now been seven different winners through seven races this season. Blaney and Elliott are now tied for the championship lead with a 19-point edge over Truex.

Remaining in the state of Virginia, the next event on the calendar will take place under the lights at the smallest track on the circuit. Coverage for Saturday night's Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 at Martinsville Speedway begins at 7:30 PM ET on FS1.