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Denny Hamlin wins NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Phoenix

He leads the final 59 laps and holds off Kevin Harvick to win the Subway Fresh Fit 500.

March 04, 2012|By Jim Peltz

Reporting from Avondale, Ariz. — Denny Hamlinheld off Kevin Harvick to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Harvick finished second, Greg Biffle was third and four-time Phoenix winner Jimmie Johnson was fourth.

Hamlin, who drives the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, led the last 59 laps of the 312-lap Subway Fresh Fit 500 and 61 laps overall.

The victory was Hamlin's first on the one-mile Phoenix oval, and helped make up for the disappointment he suffered in Phoenix in November 2010, when his bid for the Cup title vanished when he ran out of fuel.

Hamlin's win also was sweet for his new crew chief, Darian Grubb, who was released from Stewart-Haas Racing after last season even though he helped Tony Stewart win the Cup championship.

Elsewhere in the field, Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth finished 13th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 14th and Kurt Busch finished 15th.

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