Denny Hamlin has enjoyed a glistening career in racing, and has won both the Daytona 500 and the Southern 500 three times each. But the 41-year-old never had much luck when visiting the Charlotte Motor Speedway, with the Coca-Cola 600 always eluding him.
That all changed on Sunday evening though, with the Joe Gibbs Racing driver capitalising on a number of incidents and crashes to pip his teammate Kyle Busch to the chequered flag.
Over the course of 619 miles and five hours, the historic race saw 18 caution flags, with 16 drivers failing to finish. That was largely due to a 12-car wreck that ended particularly badly for Chris Buescher, whose car flipped five times on track.
Kyle Larson also struggled throughout, with two pit penalties and a fire in his pit stall throwing constant hurdles in the direction of last year's race winner.
He still led for a large part of the event though, and found himself out in front with just 46 laps to go.
As the drama ramped up and the laps ticked down, Chase Briscoe made a move on Larson with just two laps remaining, but the 27-year-old misjudged it entirely and ended up crashing out, resulting in the yellow flags being waved.
Larson had the inside line on the restart, but was joined in a four-wide battle including Hamlin, Austin Dillion and Ross Chastain.
With space quickly becoming a luxury, Larson and Dillon made contact and both cars were sent spinning, setting up Hamlin for the win after he managed to hold off teammate Busch on the subsquent restart. Kevin Harvick came in at third while Briscoe managed fourth. Larson ended up in ninth after his spin.
After wrapping up the victory, Hamlin said "It is so special. That is the last big one that is not on my resume.
"We weren't very good all day, but got ourselves in the right place at the right time."
"Considering how my day went, I was going to be content with a fourth-place finish," Hamlin said.
After making contact with Larson and spinning out, Dillon defended his actions, suggesting he did everything possible to clinch the win.
"I got a little loose and tried to make it stick," Dillon said. "It didn't quite work out there. I had to do what I had to do to win the race given where we are in points. We had a shot there to bring home another 600."
Joe Gibbs, the owner of the team and car, praised Hamlin for his efforts:
"With Denny to race that hard and that long and to be here and know how important this race is right here in our backyard, this is just a huge deal."