Denny Hamlin finished last at Sonoma Raceway.

Major mechanical issue ends Denny Hamlin's day at Sonoma

Denny Hamlin finished last in Sunday's Cup Series race at Sonoma due to a major mechanical issue.

The incident occurred as Hamlin crossed the start-finish line to begin Lap 3. Smoke began billowing out from under the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry.

This brought out the caution as Hamlin headed up the hill to Turn 2. He ultimately pulled off the track as the tow truck went out to haul the No. 11 back to the garage.

The mechanical issue led to oil covering a section of the race track. John Hunter Nemechek was unable to avoid it, which sent him into the wall. He damaged the No. 42 Toyota but continued in the race.

Hamlin, who started the race 25th, told Fox Sports' Jamie Little that there was no indication that he would have any issues before the engine blew. He added that the gearing is a little weird for the California road course.

"There's a lot of high RPM stuff," Hamlin said, "but same as everyone else. (The engine) just blew on Lap 2. I'm not really sure. (The No. 11 team) will look at it and figure it out, but certainly not ideal."

Sunday's mechanical issue marked the second consecutive race at Sonoma in which Hamlin finished last. He won the pole for last season's Cup race at the road course and led 33 laps. However, he crashed on Lap 92.

Hamlin has finished 30th or worse in three consecutive races at Sonoma.

The DNF at Sonoma will shake up the Cup standings heading into the NBC Sports portion of the schedule. Hamlin entered the weekend 21 points ahead of Kyle Larson and 27 points ahead of Chase Elliott. He will likely lose at least one spot after failing to complete more than two laps.

Hamlin has a secure spot in the playoffs with his three wins, but winning the regular-season championship locks up fifteen playoff points. This is the equivalent of three race wins.

Hamlin was not the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver with a significant issue in the first 16 laps of the race. Martin Truex Jr. slid off the track on Lap 8 after contact with Will Brown.

Ty Gibbs then hit the wall by the start-finish line on Lap 16 and significantly damaged the front end of his car. He had to go behind the wall for repairs.