Denny Hamlinâs title hopes went up in smoke, nearly along with his engine, late in Sundayâs championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Hamlinâs No. 11 Toyota started spewing steam following a pit stop with approximately 50 laps to go in the Ford EcoBoost 400. His Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew had been adding tape to the front grille as the temperatures cooled, and the final stop resulted in spiking water temperatures.
Faced with the prospect of blowing up entirely, crew chief Chris Gabehart called Hamlin down pit road. Tape was removed, and Hamlin re-joined the race one lap down in 20th position.
He would unlap himself by passing race leader and eventual winner and champion Kyle Busch, but finished 10th, last among the Championship 4 contenders
This story will be updated.