But a whole lot happened in between.
The race was the longest in NASCAR Cup Series history, at 413 laps, taking two overtimes to complete.
It took 5 hours, and 16 minutes to complete, and saw 18 cautions, 31 lead changes and 13 separate leaders.
"I was willing to wreck to get the Coke 600," Hamlin said. "You never know when you're going to be in a position like this again."
Wrecks were plenty, from Ryan Blaney catching grass and collecting a dozen cars on his way out, to a late-night flip by Chris Buescher, who would be ok.
For Hamlin, it's a much-needed second win of the season, and his first Coca-Cola 600 win.
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