It was "The Denny Hamlin Show" at Pocono International Raceway. The rookie looked like he was just out for a relaxing Sunday ride as he enjoyed, at times, a six second lead. Hamlin didn't just dominate, he eclipsed the field leading a race high...
It was "The Denny Hamlin Show" at Pocono International Raceway. The rookie looked like he was just out for a relaxing Sunday ride as he enjoyed, at times, a six second lead. Hamlin didn't just dominate, he eclipsed the field leading a race high 150 laps.
It is his second career win; he also won the June Pocono event six weeks ago. It was the first time in the history of the track that both races in the same season were won from the pole position.
"Pretty uneventful for once," said Hamlin of his afternoon. "It was really great to come here and do this again. Man, the car was strong. We did just quarter-turns and this, that and the other all day. It was a pretty good day for us.
"It is just a great race car. This is more about the team than anything else. I am proud to be with all the people I am with at Joe Gibbs Racing and Mike (Ford) is such a great crew chief. He prepares the car perfect every single week and it is up to me to get the job done."
Kurt Busch was second, "It was a good effort for our team. I was just told that we didn't have a pit stop that was out of the 13-second bracket. To be able to do that on pit road is just great.man, that was the Denny Hamlin charity race (laughs)."
Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Kevin Harvick complete the top five.
"We lost track position but we were good enough to get back up there," said Gordon. "We got a lot of notes from the 5 and the 25 car and that really paid off. For me to be able to be up there to see the 2 and the 11 car was something, we have been so off the last few times we came here."
Pole sitter Hamlin led until the first caution which was a competition yellow at lap 21. After service stops, Hamlin continued to lead on the restart on lap 25. On lap 33, the second yellow fell after Tony Stewart stuffed Clint Bowyer into the wall, collecting Carl Edwards.
NASCAR black-flagged Stewart holding him on pit road for one lap. The No. 20 car was also made ineligible for the lucky dog the rest of the race. Ryan Newman led on the restart at lap 38. At lap 45, Jeff Burton made the pass on Newman and grabbed the top spot.
Burton was still leading on lap 67 when Kyle Petty smacked the wall starting the third caution period. After pit stops, Newman led until Hamlin got around him a few laps later.
Debris slowed the field for the fourth time on lap 77. Hamlin led on the restart at lap 80 but his progress was slowed on lap 89 when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. hit the wall coming out of turn one.
"I really didn't know who wrecked me and then I found out it was Dave Blaney," said Earnhardt. "I didn't do nothing to him on the racetrack. I don't think he meant to wreck me. I don't know why he would do that, he's a pretty nice guy. We always got along as friends. It's a pretty weird deal. I just got run over on the straightaway and I tried to save it but just got too far behind on the wheel there."
Dale Jarrett did not pit and led on the restart at lap 93 but Hamlin quickly sailed past to regain the lead. Hamlin led virtually unchallenged until lap 151 when a debris caution negated his sizeable advantage.
The leaders pitted but Hamlin beat them off pit road resuming the first position on the restart at lap 156. Green flag pit stops commenced on lap 177 but several cars got bit on lap 181 when the No. 4 hit the wall causing the seventh caution.
On the restart, Hamlin easily kept the lead to win the Pennsylvania 500.
Notably, after Stewart's early race troubles he was able to wheel the No. 20 Chevy back to a seventh place finish.
Jimmie Johnson continues to lead series points. Matt Kenseth (-97), Jeff Burton (-318), Kyle Busch (-357), Kevin Harvick (-376), Mark Martin (-382), Kasey Kahne (-424), Denny Hamlin (-425), Jeff Gordon (-427) and Tony Stewart (-462) complete the top five.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Greg Biffle fall out of the top ten to 11th and 12th respectively in the Chase for the Nextel Cup.
There were seven cautions for 29 laps and nine lead changes among 13 drivers.