Tire troubles meant early exits for Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson

Denny Hamlin reacts after seeing the damage to the right side of his car following a collision with the outside wall during the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race Saturday, June 28, 2014, at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. The accident put Hamlin out of the race. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

When Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson exited their cars Saturday night, they were not on pit road or in the garage after the race. The cars were against the Kentucky Speedway wall.

Both drivers suffered tire failures early in the race and retired.

Hamlin was first. He lost a right front tire on lap 29, one lap before a scheduled competition caution on lap 30. A summer thunderstorm swept through Kentucky on Saturday afternoon before the Quaker State 400, washing the track of a lot of rubber and why NASCAR scheduled the caution. However, Hamlin didn't quite make it. He finished 42nd.

Larson was the next caution flag as his car hit the wall in turns one and two on lap 77. Like Hamlin, his car was pretty much destroyed and he was forced to the garage. Larson ended up 40th.

Because of their poor finishing positions, both drivers fell in the points. Larson fell from 10th to 13th in the points standings while Hamlin fell from 13th to 17th. However, Hamlin is still in a better position to make the Chase. Since he won at Talladega in May, he's virtually guaranteed to make the Chase. Larson, meanwhile, is winless and would currently need to get in by virtue of his points position.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!