Dawsonville's Chase Elliott is closing in on the Xfinity Series points lead with Friday night's fifth place finish at Martinsville International Raceway.
In his fourth top-five finish of the season, Elliott trails leader Ty Dillon by just eight points with 25 races remaining in the 2015 season.
"We fought tight and center for the majority of the race tonight," he said during a post-race interview. "Denny [Hamlin] really put on a show and I don't think anyone could catch him."
Hamlin led all but two of the race's 250 total laps to capture his 12th career Xfinity Series victory and first of the 2015 season.
Joey Logano, JR Motorsports driver Regan Smith, Erik Jones and Elliott rounded out the top-five.
"You know, I was pleased with our fight late in the race, especially with the race ending on a long green-flag run," Elliott said. "We just have to keep digging, because it takes that type of composure to win these types of races."
Elliott pulled double-duty this past weekend, switching into his Sprint Cup gear for Sunday's rain delayed Toyota Owners 400, where he started and finished in the 16th position, in his second career start in NASCAR's elite series.
"Overall, I felt like we had a really solid day. Really the whole weekend for us here on the Sprint Cup side was solid," he said. "I thought we had a good car throughout practice, was able to run well in race trim, and our real struggle was trying to go fast for qualifying.
"Unfortunately these races never ran to the long run. It's always going to be a short run to the finish, and I didn't tell them to do the right things for that last stop to run a short run.
The reigning Xfinity Series champion, Elliott will run fulltime for Hendrick Motorsports in 2016. He'll take over the No. 24 when Jeff Gordon retires at the end of the 2015 season.
Sunday's respectable 16th place finish was a sharp contrast to Elliott's 38th place run in his inaugural Sprint Cup race at Martinsville last month.
"I didn't do my job like I needed to [at Martinsville], and got us in a wreck 60 laps into the race, and that's not the thing to do," he said. "Fortunately we were able to run laps today, able to stay on the lead lap and battle really hard, especially towards the end of those long runs, and to race with some good cars. I think that's something our team should be proud of."
Up next for Elliott in the Xfinity Series is Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday.