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Southern National Motorsports Park

Southern National Motorsports Park News
Denny Hamlin Wins Caution-Filled SNRP Thanksgiving Classic
Dec 3, 2007 - updated Dec 3rd, 2007 9:11pm
Web posted by Ken Childs

Kenly, NC --

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In a race slowed down by 17 caution flags, Chesterfield, VA’s Denny Hamlin won his first ever Southern National Raceway Park Thanksgiving Classic. The 2003 SNRP track champion qualified 8th, and was a front-runner throughout the day, besting 2007 track champion, Benson’s Drew Herring in a race delayed a week due to rain.

Stephen Berry took the pole, besting Herring’s 14.8 with a 14.6 on the 4/10 mile oval. Berry led the first 104 laps until contact with the slower car of Matt Lofton caused significant damage to the front end of his Chevy Monte Carlo. Herring would make the pass to take the lead, leading the final 46 laps into the mandatory lap 150 caution.

After a six car invert, it was Dunn’s Corey Strickland to the front, with Carl Long, Jamey Caudill, Davin Scites, Denny Hamlin and Drew Herring stacked up behind him. Strickland would hold his own out front for the next 65 laps until Hamlin took charge. Strickland would shuffle back and wind up sixth. Hamlin would continue to lead until lap 290 when the red flag came out for rain on the raceway. As the rain came down harder, the decision was made to call the race at lap 290, making Denny Hamlin the winner. Drew Herring would wind up second, with Davin Scites, Cliff Daniels, and Jamey Caudill rounding out the top five. Defending champion Deac McCaskill dropped out before the opening flag with a broken axel, placing him last in the 42 car field.

“I definitely didn’t think we had a winning car when we unloaded. Mike Wheeler (head engineer for Hamlin’s Cup team) just kept making this car better. You have to work with what you’ve got and he (Wheeler) did a great job of making something of it. The 50 (Caudill) was the only real trouble getting to the front (after the invert), and Corey (Strickland) gave us the spot pretty easily.”

When asked if he’ll be back next year, Hamlin replied “I’ll be back every year”.

Other Notes:

Alex Yontz, Ryan Rhodes and Chad Harris won their respective heat races, with Adam Murray winning the 10 lap last-chance race. They finished 27th, 28th, 9th and 24th respectively. Cliff Daniels started dead last in his heat race, and was the last car in from that race. He worked through the field to finish fourth.


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