The biggest day in motorsports nearly stretched into a second day as the Coca-Cola 600 would seemingly never end. The longest race in NASCAR history wrapped up at Charlotte Motor Speedway after 5 hours and 16 minutes. The highly-anticipated event followed the Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500.

There were 18 cautions among the 413 total laps, which included four stages, multiple overtimes, a red flag, and cars flipping through the grass. In the end, it was Denny Hamlin that outlasted everyone else to take the checkered flag on a wild night in North Carolina, leading just four laps on the day.

This is the first Coca-Cola 600 win for Hamlin, who has now won the three most prestigious races on the Cup schedule, with the others being the Daytona 500 and the Southern 500 at Darlington. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver finished where he started, but there was so much that happened in between the start and finish of this race.

“It’s so special. It’s the last big one that’s not on my résumé. It means so much,” Hamlin said. “Man, just can't thank this whole team enough. Never won the Coke 600 before. This means a lot. We weren’t very good all day. Just got ourselves in the right place at the right time. What a battle there. It means so much to me being with the Coke family for 18 years. It worked out perfectly.”

After dominating qualifying on Saturday, it was a 1-2 finish for Gibbs, with Kyle Busch finishing two car lengths behind his teammate. When asked if he could have done anything differently, Kyle said he didn't think so. "We didn't have a good enough day to even be in that position. Just a strong fight all night long by this M&M's team. Give honor to those we remember here on Memorial Day weekend. Appreciate the opportunity and being able to do that."

Kevin Harvick was hoping to snap his 56-race winless streak and get his first win since the 2020 season but came up just short tonight, finishing 3rd. Chase Briscoe ended up 4th after bringing out a late caution for a spin when he tried to make a move on Kyle Larson for the lead. Christopher Bell rounded out the top five on Sunday, capping a brilliant day for Coach Gibbs.

Tyler Reddick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr just missed the top five but led the way for Chevrolet. Michael McDowell scored his fifth top-ten finish in the last seven races. Larson and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman rounded out the top ten on Sunday night.

The race was shaken up just prior to the halfway point when Ryan Blaney lost control of his No. 12 Ford Mustang on Lap 192. The Team Penske driver clipped the apron in Turn 1, spun backwards into the field, and collected nearly a dozen cars. "Spatially, I just didn't really know where I was at and made a mistake," Blaney admitted.

“I was tucked up tight behind Reddick and he was kind of lower than I thought on the frontstretch and kind of ran through the turf, and then got to Turn 1 and jerked right. Thinking he was going to hit the apron, I didn’t have time to kind of get right and I just kind of hit the apron and it got me loose. I hate that other cars got tore up."

"I thought we were in the catbird seat there," said William Byron. "We were the first guy on new tires. We were going to cycle out really well there and then they just start wrecking on the bottom and cleaned out those of us on the top. Just sucks. It's chaos out there. You can't drive the car. Any slight bit sideways is wrecked. So somebody gets a little bit sideways and we all wreck. It either takes out other people or they spin to the infield. Just chaos."

The two 23XI Racing Toyota cars of Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace were among those collected. “We had a winning top-five Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD, we did," said Busch. "We’ve wrecked a lot of cars this year and we were just wrong place, wrong time. Bubba was in front of me and tried not to hit him. I think I hit about 15 different things. Fast car and I’m really proud of my guys. I’ll be at the shop on Tuesday helping them tear it down."

The biggest incident came on Lap 346 when Daniel Suarez got side-bumped and went into a spin on the frontstretch. The incident collected several other cars, including Chris Buescher. The RFK driver went through the grass and his right-front wheel dug into the ground and sent his No. 17 Ford Mustang flipping through the air, rolling over five times. Buescher was able to walk away under his own power, but a red flag stopped the race.

“It’s not ideal by any means," said Buescher. "I’m going to be a bit sore tomorrow. I haven’t been upside-down in a really long time. The team did a really nice job. We had great speed and had a chance at this thing, it just didn’t work out.”

After the late race caution for Briscoe, it set up a wild finish that resulted in a wrecked race car for Austin Dillon. That led to the final restart and the battle between the two Gibbs drivers. Hamlin was able to capitalize when Busch got loose on the final lap, earning the 48th victory of his career.

For drivers, teams, and fans, the Coca-Cola 600 felt more like two races. There will be a lot to unpack over the coming days before they hit the road and get ready for a track they have never been to before.

Coverage for Sunday’s Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway begins at 3:30 PM ET on FS1.