Denny Hamlin was the leader of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway going into overtime, but that ended up being the worst place to be.

Hamlin was put three-wide on the restart when Kyle Larson dove inside him and Chris Buescher. It quickly took Hamlin from the race lead to third place. On the white flag lap, Hamlin was in a battle for third with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott.

Again, Hamlin found himself in the wrong spot. Stuck in the middle of Truex and Elliott in Turns 1 and 2, Hamlin lost his momentum and faded to a fifth-place finish.

“Well, a difficult spot, right?” Hamlin said of the overtime restart. “I needed to get the push from the 5 (Kyle Larson), but I knew he wasn’t going to stay in line, that he was going to go for the win. Unfortunately, it left me in a spot where I was vulnerable there in the middle.”

Hamlin led a race-high 71 laps and won the first stage of the AdventHealth 400. It was a battle between him and Buescher for much of the final stage, with the two moving into the top two positions off a restart with 62 laps to go after having stayed out to inherit track position.

The two swapped the lead repeatedly. Buescher led with 59 laps to go before Hamlin took the spot back with 52 to go. Buescher was ahead with 39 left and Hamlin with 38 remaining.

The two were still running first and second with less than 30 laps to go. However, they were both trying to save fuel as well. Hamlin was leading when the final caution flew with seven laps to go, sending the field to pit road for the final time.

Hamlin kept the lead on pit road while taking two tires and restarted on the bottom of the front row for overtime.

“I’ll tell you, with 70 (laps) to go, it wasn’t looking really good,” Hamlin said. “We had some pit road miscues that set us back, but Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) and the guys did a great job coming up with a strategy there to pit and then jump the field back. We were right on task there with about (seven) to go; felt good about getting another one. It’s just one of those things.”

The first miscue on pit road came after the first stage when Hamlin had trouble getting out of his pit stall because of how he was parked and where Austin Hill was in the stall in front of him. At the end of the second stage, Hamlin had to slow down for Ryan Preece, who was still making his way toward his pit stall, and lost time.

Hamlin had a driver rating of 124.6 (second only to winner Larson). The statistic is a formula of win, finish, top-15 finish, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, led most laps and lead lap finish.