Denny Hamlin (18) battles Kevin Harvick Saturday at Darlington Raceway. (CSP/Chris Seelman photo)

Though Hamlin passed Logano for second three laps later, Harvick was a full second clear of the field at that point, and it appeared the race was well in the Stewart Haas Racing driver’s hands.

At least, that was the case until Dakoda Armstrong spun with 11 laps left, drawing the race’s eighth yellow flag.

That sent the leaders scrambling down pit road for fresh rubber, and just like it did every time before, Logano’s pit stall being right at the end of the line allowed him to beat Harvick off pit road.

What appeared to be the pass for the win on pit road turned into a mess on the restart with six laps left, as Harvick bobbled in Turns 1 and 2 and free-fell through the field.

Moments later, Erik Jones hooked Elliott Sadler into the outside wall on the frontstretch, bringing the caution back out and paving the way for Hamlin’s overtime heroics.

Though Logano tried to channel ‘The Intimidator’ in the final set of corners, he came up just short of giving team owner Roger Penske a victory.

“It would have been a lot more fun if that caution hadn’t of come out,” lamented Logano. “That would have been more fun for me. Denny had a great restart and I went through the gears and he motored me down into turn one and had position on me. Once he was on my right rear quarter, I was where he wanted me to be and I was just trying to tag along to stay on his right side off turn two and I wasn’t able to do that.”

“It was a fun race … I don’t know what I could have done different, honestly. If I knew he was going to cross me a little earlier, I could have done something different … but I don’t know what else we could have done.”

Harvick ultimately finished third after leading 54 laps on the day.

“The (No.) 22 had that first pit stall and I’m glad I have that tomorrow, because that’s a huge advantage. I love racing here at Darlington … that was just good hard racing at the end and it just didn’t work out for us.”

“We had a chance to win the race today, but with the restarts and with Logano’s pit stall, we just didn’t have control of the race and came up short. It’s a lot of fun racing here, though. I love it.”

Jones finished fourth ahead of William Byron, who was both the highest finishing series regular and highest rookie in fifth.

Brennan Poole, Ty Dillon, Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer and Austin Dillon completed the top 10.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to action Friday, Sept. 8 with the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond Int’l Raceway (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM).

Full race results can be viewed on the next page…

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Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman, 24, is the founder and managing editor of 77 Sports Media and a major contributing writer for SPEED SPORT Magazine. He is studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. and also serves as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

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