Hamlin wins Xfinity race at finish line

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And by the time the drivers reached the finish line, Denny Hamlin edged rookie William Byron by 0.012 seconds - the closest Xfinity Series race in Michigan International Speedway history.

It's the first NASCAR XFINITY Series victory of the season for Hamlin, the second of his career at MI and the 16th victory in 158 career starts.

A disappointed Byron said he got schooled by the veteran Hamlin.

"The insane part was, we went so low down the back straightaway, there was dust and stuff flying off the tires".

"They just were encouraging me that the time will come and keep running like that and it's going to get there", Byron said.

Byron is one of a host of young drivers to emerge in NASCAR, including 23-year-old Ryan Blaney - who won his first Cup Series race last weekend.

"I don't think he knew I was there", Keselowski said. "That last run that we had, he was about to pass me, so he's done a good job". "I wanted to race him clean". "He just had enough air down there to get to the side of us, and it was just a race to the line after that". "Elliott [Sadler] was pushing us really hard on the restart, which got us the lead".

Sadler's third-place effort was enough to regain the points lead in the XFINITY Series. "I probably could have done a better job pushing him", Sadler said.

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"I don't think anybody really won on that one", Keselowski said. He won seven times past year in his first full season in the Camping World Truck Series.

Hamlin led three times for 34 laps in Saturday's race including the final lap after getting by Byron in the thrilling finish.

Hamlin will try to add another win for Joe Gibbs Racing when he competes in Sunday's Cup race.

Brad Keselowski led a race-high 54 laps in his No. 22 Ford, but failed to win back-to-back races for Team Penske. "Denny was the class of the field there at the end". Byron used the draft to close back up, but couldn't get back by before the line. That was a bummer. They almost ran each other off the track with half a lap to go.

They banged doors on the restart with two laps to go.

"We had a fast vehicle, and think we were going to win it either way, but when it came down to experience at the end, I'll take him". "A lot to learn from, a lot to be proud of".

Busch's vehicle suffered significant damage but rallied to finish fifth, while Keselowski's auto suffered a little bit of front-end damage that didn't keep him from winning the opening stage before he eventually finished fourth.

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