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Motor Racing

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Associated Press
The sun sets behind clouds during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Hamlin pulls out 2nd straight Cup win in Atlanta

HAMPTON, Ga. — Denny Hamlin won his second straight Sprint Cup race, holding off Jeff Gordon in a green-white-checkered finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night.

Martin Truex Jr. appeared to be positioned for his first win since 2007 until Jamie McMurray smashed the wall on the front straightaway, bringing out a caution with three laps to go. The leaders went to pit road, and Hamlin's crew got him back on the track first, just ahead of Truex.

While Truex struggled to get up to speed on the restart, Hamlin pulled away with Gordon right on his bumper. The four-time Cup champion desperately needed a win to improve his chances of getting into the Chase, but couldn't get by Hamlin on the final lap.

Hamlin took the series victory lead with four, putting him in position to top the standings when the 12-drive Chase starts.

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