Denny Hamlin won his rain-shortened Camping World SRX Series debut in the first event of the 2023 SRX season after rising from a 6th place start.

The victory came as lightning struck and rain fell around the racetrack. A hard-charging Ryan Newman, who was in a backup car, was nearly to his back bumper.

Newman ended up second, securing major points heading into the second race of the season as the highest finishing full-time driver.

On lap 13 of the main event, Hamlin took the lead from defending series champion Marco Andretti, followed by Clint Bowyer. Hamlin and Bowyer gapped the rest of the pack by over three seconds until the halfway point and Hamlin managed to keep the lead until the yellow flag flew for rain.

Bowyer fell off after the halfway point but managed to keep a top five spot, finishing third. Paul Tracy finished in fourth after starting on the pole for the main event based on average finish in the heats, while Hailie Deegan rounded out the top five. Meanwhile, Marco Andretti finished just outside of the top five in sixth place.

Leading into the main, the second heat saw Newman win, followed by Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Harvick and Tracy.

Hamlin’s victory also comes following his victory in the first heat. Tracy secured second place and was followed by Andretti, Bobby Labonte and Tony Kanaan. With this victory, Hamlin secures the record for the furthest back in the field a driver has started and won the first heat of an SRX event.

Inaugural SRX champion Tony Stewart finished in 11th, ahead of last-place Kevin Harvick, after his car suffered from oil pressure issues. Harvick was involved in a lap six pileup that affected half the field, though he was the only driver knocked out of the race as a result.

Tony Kanaan finished 10th, also in a backup car, which happened as a result of his hood detaching following damaged accumulated from the aggressive racing action.

The next SRX race will be held on July 20 at 9 p.m. ET back at Stafford due to flooding in Vermont causing the event at Thunder Road International SpeedBowl to be canceled. The event will be broadcast on ESPN.


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