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Denny Hamlin Ends NASCAR Regular Season with Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

When all the smoke had cleared and all the fans had drifted out to the parking lots, not much had changed on Saturday night under the Richmond International Raceway lights.   The 16 drivers who would have made the Chase for the Sprint Cup—had the Federated Auto Parts 400 not been run—were the ones who actually qualified. Denny Hamlin won. Ten of the top 11 finishers made the Chase—sixth-place Kasey Kahne was the exception—and Hamlin and third-place finisher Martin Truex Jr. combined to lead 382 of the 407 laps. The yellow caution flag waved a ridiculous number of times (16) and used up a ridiculous number of laps (89). Unsurprisingly, Hamlin was exultant about the victory at his home track—Chesterfield, V...

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