Denny Hamlin goes to victory lane at Las Vegas, secures berth in next round of Cup Series Playoffs

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 26: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 26, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag first for the second time in 2021, winning the NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday night.

And for the second time this season, Hamlin’s triumph automatically advances him to the next round of the Cup Series Playoffs, the Round of 8.

Hamlin dominated in the desert, leading 137 of 268 laps and beating second place Chase Elliott by 0.442 seconds. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. also finished in the top five, giving Joe Gibbs Racing another large claim of playoff points.

The series heads to Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 3. The

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