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SportsPulse: Mackenzie Salmon sat bottomward with NASCAR disciplinarian Matt DiBenedetto and asked what added leagues can apprentice from the sports return. USA TODAY
LONG POND, Pa. – Round 2 at Pocono went to Denny Hamlin. Hamlin bedeviled the spotlight, accurately in achievement lane back Pocono had to set up lights afterwards the chase concluded in the dark.
Hamlin topped Kevin Harvick on Sunday night to win the additional Cup chase of the weekend at Pocono Raceway and cast the aftereffect of the opener. The 1-2 accomplishment out of anniversary disciplinarian is a bright assurance two of the best drivers in the bold are assertive afresh to accomplish a championship push.
Hamlin says, accompany it on.
“We aloof appetite to get to the final four with a chance,” he said.
Hamlin has four wins this division for Joe Gibbs Antagonism and Harvick has three for Stewart-Haas Antagonism as they alpha to abstracted themselves from the blow of the field.
Denny Hamlin celebrates afterwards acceptable the Pocono 350, Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
Hamlin is cutting up milestones as he chases his aboriginal NASCAR Cup championship. Hamlin now has 41 career Cup victories to move accomplished Mark Martin into 19th on NASCAR’s best list. His sixth win at Pocono akin Jeff Gordon for best at the 2½ mile tri-oval track, nicknamed the “Tricky Triangle.”
“It’s adamantine to accept because we went through such a dry spell there in the average of my career,” Hamlin said about his Pocono results.
Hamlin raced to his fourth achievement of the division to cap a wild, chase day of antagonism at the track, with three NASCAR contest and atramentous in the finale. Pocono doesn’t accept lights – but the pit alley numbers were lit up and glowed as Hamlin won for the additional beeline year at Pocono.
“We accomplished the chase there a lot bigger than we accomplished yesterday, and I anticipation we had a race-winning car yesterday,” Hamlin said. “We knew afterwards yesterday’s chase and assuming the acceleration that we had, aloof don’t blend it up and we’ve got a acceptable attack today and that’s what we did.”
Hamlin had a backward beating in his No. 11 Toyota on Saturday that hindered his attack to bolt Harvick bottomward the stretch. About 25 hours later, Hamlin surged accomplished Harvick and congenital a about 3-second advance already the SHR disciplinarian got bent up in lapped traffic.
The Daytona 500 champion’s achievement capped the aboriginal NASCAR tripleheader at one track. The chase was delayed by lightning and rain, as abundant a allotment of Pocono as a JGR disciplinarian demography the checky flag. Gibbs’ agenda has six of the aftermost seven winners at Pocono.
“I abhorrence to feel aghast in a additional and a first, but man, I acquainted like I should accept won both races,” Hamlin said.
They ran six laps afore the chase was red-flagged about 51 account because or rain. NASCAR ran several clip laps afore the chase assuredly went blooming about 6:15 p.m. It was a chase adjoin atramentous to complete the abounding 350 miles.
Harvick won Saturday’s chase and put the brakes on a addict – he had to save that agent for addition run in the aforementioned No. 4 Ford. The starting calendar was astern for Sunday’s chase so Harvick started 20th.
Erik Jones was third, Chase Elliott fourth and Aric Almirola was fifth.
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The rain wreaked calamity with the third NASCAR chase of the day at Pocono. Brandon Jones opened the day with a win in the Barter Alternation chase and Chase Briscoe won the Xfinity race. Pocono became the aboriginal clue in NASCAR history to authority three civic alternation contest on the aforementioned day.
Harvick was a fan of the Cup doubleheader format.
“I anticipate everybody would be cool blessed with a abundant beneath division and assorted doubleheaders,” Harvick said.
NASCAR’s achievement to capitalize on actuality about the alone above action to run alive every anniversary with sports on abeyance in the deathwatch of the coronavirus communicable has been besieged by acclimate issues. Sunday apparent the ninth chase out of 15 this division with a acclimate adjournment and three accept been confused a abounding day. It’s adamantine to accumulate TV admirers absorbed back its a array of Air Titans instead of a mad birr to the checky flag.
Pocono is belled for backing weekends and in 2016 had two Cup contest and an IndyCar chase all done out and run on Monday. The “Need Help or Info?” signs about the clue went added as the alone affair in the grandstands was rain.
It put yet addition damper on seven-time Jimmie Johnson’s adieu season. Johnson, a three-time champ at Pocono, was accustomed by the clue over the weekend. Pocono corrective “Jimmie” on one ancillary of the start/finish line, added a corrective “48 Jimmie Johnson” bedrock to their infield accumulating of chase legends, and his two adolescent daughters gave the command for the driver’s to alpha their engines. He accomplished 16th.
But he additionally gave some afflatus to Hamlin.
“Maybe one day I’ll get one of those atramentous rocks they’ve got actuality for all those acceptable guys that accept won it,” Hamlin said.
He ability get the rock, esepcially if he can canyon Hall of Famer Gordon. The 39-year-old Hamlin feels he has affluence of time and aptitude larboard in the catchbasin to set that mark.
“I don’t anticipate this is the aftermost one,” Hamlin said.
Sunday from the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway (starting positions in parentheses):
1. (19) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 140 laps, 41 points.
2. (20) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 140, 47.
3. (38) Erik Jones, Toyota, 140, 34.
4. (25) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 140, 33.
5. (18) Aric Almirola, Ford, 140, 41.
6. (8) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 140, 38.
7. (7) William Byron, Chevrolet, 140, 30.
8. (14) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 140, 29.
9. (27) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 140, 28.
10. (15) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 140, 37.
11. (12) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 140, 42.
12. (10) Matt Kenseth, Chevrolet, 140, 25.
13. (3) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 140, 37.
14. (2) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 140, 27.
15. (4) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chevrolet, 140, 28.
16. (21) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 140, 21.
17. (5) Cole Custer, Ford, 140, 21.
18. (6) Ryan Newman, Ford, 139, 27.
19. (24) John H. Nemechek, Ford, 139, 18.
20. (22) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 139, 17.
21. (23) Corey Lajoie, Ford, 139, 16.
22. (9) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 139, 24.
23. (26) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 139, 14.
24. (36) Joey Logano, Ford, 139, 13.
25. (1) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 139, 12.
26. (28) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 139, 11.
27. (29) Brennan Poole, Chevrolet, 138, 10.
28. (31) JJ Yeley, Ford, 138, 0.
29. (35) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 137, 0.
30. (34) James Davison, Chevrolet, 136, 7.
31. (40) Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 136, 6.
32. (33) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 136, 0.
33. (37) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 136, 0.
34. (32) Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, 136, 0.
35. (30) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 135, 2.
36. (11) Chris Buescher, Ford, 135, 5.
37. (39) BJ McLeod, Ford, 133, 0.
38. (16) Kyle Busch, Toyota, accident, 74, 3.
39. (17) Christopher Bell, Toyota, accident, 39, 9.
40. (13) Michael McDowell, Ford, accident, 15, 1.
Average Acceleration of Chase Winner: 122.882 mph.
Time of Race: 2 hours, 50 minutes, 54 seconds.
Margin of Victory: 3.068 seconds.
Caution Flags: 8 for 32 laps.
Lead Changes: 12 amid 9 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R.Preece 0; Ku.Busch 1-35; R.Blaney 36-56; Ky.Busch 57-58; D.Hamlin 59-76; K.Harvick 77; B.Keselowski 78-79; A.Almirola 80-83; B.Keselowski 84-94; K.Harvick 95-104; D.Hamlin 105-120; M.Truex 121-125; D.Hamlin 126-140
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): D.Hamlin, 3 times for 49 laps; Ku.Busch, 1 time for 35 laps; R.Blaney, 1 time for 21 laps; B.Keselowski, 2 times for 13 laps; K.Harvick, 2 times for 11 laps; M.Truex, 1 time for 5 laps; A.Almirola, 1 time for 4 laps; Ky.Busch, 1 time for 2 laps; R.Preece, 1 time for 0 laps.
Wins: D.Hamlin, 4; K.Harvick, 3; J.Logano, 2; B.Keselowski, 2; R.Blaney, 1; C.Elliott, 1; M.Truex, 1; A.Bowman, 1.
Top 16 in Points: 1. K.Harvick, 534; 2. R.Blaney, 505; 3. J.Logano, 487; 4. C.Elliott, 477; 5. B.Keselowski, 472; 6. D.Hamlin, 465; 7. M.Truex, 463; 8. A.Bowman, 436; 9. Ky.Busch, 420; 10. Ku.Busch, 393; 11. A.Almirola, 390; 12. J.Johnson, 369; 13. C.Bowyer, 358; 14. M.DiBenedetto, 346; 15. W.Byron, 342; 16. T.Reddick, 313.
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