By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Denny Hamlin earned his first career victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday night. The 41-year-old veteran driver held off Chase Elliott and kicked off the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs with his second win in September. Hamlin got his first victory of the season in the playoff opener at Darlington three weeks ago in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and he has emerged as a serious contender for his first Cup Series championship after a career filled with near-misses.