Denny Hamlin Takes Win, Multiple Post-Race Awards At Tricky Triangle JGR Driver Picks Up Fourth Win Of Season, Three Contingency Program Awards CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 8, 2010) -- Denny Hamlin continued his mastery of Pocono Raceway Sunday, ...
Denny Hamlin Takes Win, Multiple Post-Race Awards At Tricky Triangle
JGR Driver Picks Up Fourth Win Of Season, Three Contingency Program Awards
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 8, 2010) -- Denny Hamlin continued his mastery of Pocono Raceway Sunday, leading 88 laps and making a late-race pass, as the Joe Gibbs Racing standout drove to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series-leading fourth victory of the season, his fourth career victory at Pocono and secured three post-race awards.
Hamlin, who took the lead from Sam Hornish Jr. on an overtime green-white-checker restart after a multi-car incident, won Sunday's Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 Presented by Target. In doing so, the No. 11 Fed Ex team won the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race, Sunoco Diamond Performance and WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race awards.
The awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provide teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories. Each race, the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race Award recognizes the team's top engine builder for qualifying and finishing position. With a strong powerplant, Hamlin qualified third in the No. 11 Fed Ex Toyota. In combination with great calls by crew chief Mike Ford, Hamlin's Toyota ran strong all day, soaring to a solid victory.
"You've got to have an engineering group, you've got to have great motors and all the technical stuff back at the shop," said team owner Joe Gibbs during Sunday's post-race press conference. "We've had a very good seven, eight weeks. Teamwork has been the key for us."
In eight career races at the 2.5-mile triangular track, Hamlin has three wins, five top-five finishes and six top 10s. Hamlin, who led the most laps (88 total) Sunday, captured his third WIX Lap Leader of the Race Award and fourth Sunoco Diamond Performance Award of the season, given to the top eligible finisher, and appears poised to make a solid run for the championship.
"Your performance always comes in waves, but we're definitely very confident in what we have, the cars we have planned for the Chase," said Hamlin. "Hopefully we peak at the right time. Really, I feel like the best is yet to come."
Hamlin currently sits solidly third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings heading into this weekend's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway (TNT, 1 p.m. ET). The Pocono win, plus victories at Martinsville, Texas and Darlington so far this season gives Hamlin 40 bonus points going into the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Official winners of this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:
* COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Kyle Busch (169.485 mph, 53.102 secs)
* DIRECTV CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE: Dave Rogers (crew chief for Kyle Busch)
* GOODYEAR GATORBACK FASTEST LAP OF THE RACE: Kyle Busch (165.773 mph, lap 2)
* MAHLE CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE: Denny Hamlin
* MOBIL 1 COMMAND PERFORMANCE DRIVER OF THE RACE: Kurt Busch
* MOOG CHASSIS PARTS PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE RACE: Steve Addington (crew chief for Kurt Busch)
* O'REILLY AUTO PARTS POSITION IMPROVEMENT AWARD: David Stremme (19 places)
* RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Kevin Conway
* SUNOCO DIAMOND PERFORMANCE AWARD : Denny Hamlin
* TISSOT PIT ROAD PRECISION: Kyle Busch (242.809 secs)
* WIX FILTERS LAP LEADER OF THE RACE: Denny Hamlin (88 laps)
About the NASCAR Prize Money & Decal Program
The NASCAR Prize Money & Decal Program, commonly referred to as the contingency program, is administered by the NASCAR Automotive Group. The program strives to build strong relationships with high-quality, performance-driven brands that are leaders in their respective categories and award money to NASCAR teams via per-race and year-end postings. Competitors become eligible for awards money by displaying partner decals on the front fender of their race vehicles and, in some instances, use of a sponsor's product. National series contingency sponsors will contribute over $8.8 million to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams in 2010.