Denny Hamlin delivered a victory for the Nascar Cup Series’ old guard by claiming his first win of 2022 on home territory in Richmond, Virginia.

The 41-year-old three-time Daytona 500 winner took the lead from William Byron with only five laps to run to head fellow veteran Kevin Harvick across the line by just 0.552sec.

The result marks a season upswing for Hamlin, who hadn’t finished in the top 10 this year before arriving at Richmond Raceway, where he fell in love with Nascar in his childhood.

It was his fourth top-tier victory at the short, 0.75-mile oval, where his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team can also boast a strong success record.

Following the Richmond round, Penske Ford driver Ryan Blaney and Hendrick Chevrolet’s Chase Elliott shared the championship lead, ahead of Joe Gibbs Toyota’s Martin Truex Jr.

Motorsport greats: Michele Alboreto