This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Sunday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 was a story of perseverance. Almost every top driver suffered a problem of some sort but finding a way back to the front was the order of the day. Denny Hamlin did just that by overcoming two penalties on pit road to snag his second victory of the season. He used strategy to get back on the lead lap when he was down and again as he was battling to stay out front in the final laps of the 500-mile race. The work paid off and he walks away with his second win of the season and third at Texas.
Sunday was also a breakthrough day for several teams and drivers. Ford was strong as expected, but while Penske Racing suffered problems Stewart-Haas Racing put both Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez in the top five with teammates Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola in the top 10. Hendrick Motorsports was also on song through the weekend. Jimmie Johnson started the race on pole after a perfect Friday at the track, and William Byron raced among the leaders and finished sixth on Sunday joining Johnson in the top 10. Now those teams will work to build on the confidence they gained last week to build more momentum this week at Bristol Motor Speedway. This will be the first of back-to-back short-track races before the series takes a well-deserved week off before heading to the mighty Talladega Superspeedway.
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin was penalized multiple times on