Denny Hamlin led Joe Gibbs Racing with a sixth-place finish in this afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Meanwhile, teammates Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, and Carl Edwards finished eighth, ninth and 15th respectively.

This was the first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Four teams will be eliminated from the Chase after the first three-race segment which follows the next two races at New Hampshire and Dover respectively. All four JGR teams remain in the top 10 in points after today’s race. The current point standings are: 1. Truex (2050), 2. Keselowski (-1) 3. Kyle Busch (-4), 4. Hamlin (-5), 5. Logano (-7), 6. Elliott (-11), 7. Kenseth (-12), 8. Johnson (-13), 9. Edwards (-18), 10. Kurt Busch (-19), 11. McMurray (-20), 12. Stewart (-22), 13. Dillon (-23), 14. Harvick (-23), 15. Larson (-23), 16. Buescher (-34). The victory today by Martin Truex, Jr. automatically advances him into the next round of the Chase.

Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota in third and jumped up to second on the opening lap, but debris on the front grill of his car would cause him to drop back a spot to shake it loose. Hamlin would run sixth prior to the first round of pit stops. A caution would come out just as the field was starting a round of green flag pit stops and the 11 would cycle through to restart sixth on lap 57. He was running ninth at lap 100. A caution on lap 119 would bring the leaders down pit road and Hamlin would line up sixth for the restart on lap 125 and held the position through the halfway point. A round of green flag stops at lap 172 would cycle Hamlin through in fourth. A caution on lap 192 would bring the leaders back down pit road and he would restart third on lap 198. Hamlin was running fourth with 50 laps remaining. He would make a green flag pit stop from fifth with 30 laps to go and cycled through to hold the fourth position. Hamlin was running third when a final caution came out with five laps to go. Crew chief Mike Wheeler would make the call to bring the FedEx Camry down pit road and he would restart seventh for a green-white-checkered finish after several cars stayed out on the track. He would go on to finish sixth.

Busch started the No. 18 Skittles Toyota from the pole position and led the opening 21 laps before finally relinquishing the lead and falling back to run third prior to the first round of pit stops. A caution on lap 49 would come out just as the field was starting a round of green flag pit stops. Busch would bring his Skittles Camry down pit road under caution and once all everyone had cycled through he would restart third on lap 57. He was running fourth at lap 100. A caution on lap 119 would bring the leaders down pit road and Busch would hold onto the fourth position for the restart at lap 125 and continued to hold that position at the halfway mark. NASCAR would rule that the Skittles Camry was too fast on pit road during a round of green flag pit stops on lap 172 resulting in a pass through penalty. He would cycle back in a lap down in 20th but managed to drive his way around the leader to get back on the lead lap. A caution on lap 192 would bring the leaders back down pit road and he would restart 12th. Busch was running 13th with 50 laps remaining. A final round of green flag pit stops would see Busch cycle through back in 12th. He would drive his way into the top ten and was running ninth when a final caution came out with five laps to go. Crew chief Adam Stevens would bring the Skittles Camry down pit road one final time and Busch would restart 10th after several cars remained out on the track. He would gain two positions over the two-lap green-white-checkered finish to come home in eighth.

Kenseth started the No. 20 DEWALT FLEXVOLT Toyota in the seventh position and dropped back to run 10th during the opening green flag run while battling an extremely tight handling racecar. A caution on lap 49 would come out just as the No. 20 Camry was making its way onto pit road. Kenseth would cycle through to restart 14th on lap 57. He was running 11th at lap 100. A caution on lap 119 would bring the leaders down pit road and Kenseth was hit with a speeding penalty that sent him back to 19th for the restart on lap 125. The tight handling conditions on his DEWALT FLEXVOLT Camry would continue while racing back in traffic as he held on to 19th position. A round of green flag pit stops would cycle Kenseth through in 13th at lap 180. A caution on lap 192 would bring the leaders back down pit road and he would restart 10th and continued to hold that position with 50 laps remaining. A final round of green flag pit stops would cycle Kenseth through in 10th. He would race his way into sixth before a final caution with five laps remaining. Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff would bring the 20 down pit road and he would restart eighth with two laps remaining after several cars remained out on the track. He would go on to finish ninth.

Edwards started the No. 19 STANLEY Toyota from the fifth position and settled in to run seventh through the opening green flag while battling tight handling conditions. A caution on lap 49 would come out just as the field was starting a round of green flag pit stops. Edwards would bring the STANLEY Camry down pit road under yellow and once all was sorted out he would restart ninth on lap 57. He was running ninth at lap 100. A caution on lap 119 would bring the leaders down pit road and he would restart 12th on lap 125. Edwards was running 14th at the halfway mark. A round of green flag pit stops would cycle Edwards through in 16th at lap 180. A caution on lap 192 would bring the leaders back down pit road and he would restart 17th. He would gain one spot to run 16th with 50 remaining. A final round of green flag pit stops would cycle Edwards through to run 16th. He was up to 11th when a final caution came out with five laps to go. Crew chief Dave Rogers would make the call to remain out on the track allowing Edwards to restart third for a green-white-checkered finish. With everyone racing behind him on fresher tires the 19 would fall back to finish 15th.

Martin Truex, Jr. captured the win, followed by Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five. There were four cautions for a total of 22 laps and 17 lead changes among nine different drivers.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next Sunday for the second race in the opening three-race segment in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Live coverage on NBCSN will start Sunday, September 25 at 1:30 PM (race starts at 2 PM ET). The race will also be carried on Sirius NASCAR radio channel 90.