In between rain holds during Stage 1, it went to Team Penske, who best present themselves upfront for most of the time.
You see how Joey Logano had a great start over Denny Hamlin and held on at least through the competition for the first 25-30 laps.
Looking at the back half of the opening checkpoint, Logano may not have maintained his positive build-up.
But Ryan Blaney stole the show from there until a few laps before the opening stage break.
Like Logano, Blaney struggled to handle the cornering & the short-run speed, which could not justify his possible Stage 1 win to Denny Hamlin.
In the lead up towards the halfway mark, it turned out to be quiet with no lead changes or incident encounters.
So again, it is Hamlin who has a great chance to wrap out the night after an impressive showing in the first two stages.
In the first half of Stage 3, there may be first incident caution from Ryan Newman. But that did not affect Hamlin’s race lead until the last green-flag pit stops with 50 to go.
Yes, one mistake, even it is a small one, can bite your chances of winning this race as the lead change did go to Chase Elliott for a while.
Though Elliott’s struggles with his defense, such as the maximum speed, in the long run, saw Hamlin regained the top spot with less than 30 to go & held on to the checkered flag with the win.
It is another high drive from Hamlin thanks to the help from the excellent No.11 Toyota Camry race car on his sights.
The long-run speed from Hamlin with little yellow flag breaks proved that he can still have another opportunity to at last win the NASCAR Cup Series Title.
He has an excellent attitude, having proved correct to us at the start of the year, which happened twice after he won the Daytona 500.
Well, all he can do now is maintain that definite form within the next few months & treat every subsequent race preparation as if it is a mock Championship 4 race.
Since the season finale will be in Arizona in early November, a change of scenery could represent the next step forward at last for Hamlin climbing the top of Mt Everest with the Championship.
For now, we have waited eight hours for the race to complete regardless of how many breaks did the rain threatened us.
Thankfully, the rain did not bother us after all and let the action do the talking which we have seen awesome battles towards the end of Stage 1 & 3.
Let us hope next Sunday’s running at Talladega Superspeedway will not be another curse of wet weather.