NASCAR Pocono: Hamlin beats Harvick in second Cup Series race of the weekend

Bethony Waring
Autosport
Hamlin beats Harvick for sixth Pocono victory
Hamlin beats Harvick for sixth Pocono victory

Denny Hamlin claimed his sixth Pocono victory in a rain-delated second NASCAR Cup race of the weekend, beating Kevin Harvick by over three seconds.

In a reverse of race one, Kevin Harvick was chasing after Hamlin in the closing stages of the 140 lap race, but couldn't close the gap to the Toyota driver and finished 3.068s behind.

The race had started with a range of strategies, with some drivers pitting early while others waiting until after lap 50 before coming onto pit road for the first time. But by the second half of the final stage the drivers who had come in latest seemed to have the advantage.

Hamlin had narrowly made the top 10 at the end of the second stage, beating Chase Elliot by just 0.002s, and slowly climbed his way up through the order in the final stage.

As others came into the pits for their final stops, Hamlin stayed out and extended his gap over Harvick and the rest of the field.

With 20 laps to go before the chequered flag, Hamlin finally came into the pits, managing to only loose one position in the process.

Martin Truex Jnr, who had been pitting late throughout the race, had a 10-second lead when Hamlin returned to the track, but wasn't able to make it to the chequered flag and had to pit just five laps later.

Hamlin was handed the race lead, with Harvick just two seconds behind and Brad Keslowski closing in.

Harvick kept the pressure on Hamlin despite having concerns about vibrations, while Keslowski was forced to pit four laps before the end of the race.

Erik Jones was promoted to third but, 10s behind the leading duo, couldn't challenge for the victory. He finished just ahead of Elliot and Aric Almirola.

Rain early in the race brought a long delay after just a handful of laps. Kurt Busch led early on ahead of Ryan Blaney.

Hamlin beats Harvick for sixth Pocono victory
Hamlin beats Harvick for sixth Pocono victory

The pair finished the opening stage first and second before Busch fell backwards in the second stage.

Blaney stayed towards the front of the field but ran into trouble shortly after coming into the pits.

He tried to make a move up the inside of Kyle Busch, tapping the rear of the Toyota as they passed a lap car. Busch was sent into a spin, hitting the wall and severely damaging the front of his Toyota

The Penske driver's race was further hindered when Alex Bowman interfered with his pit stop and he fell further back.

Almost as soon as racing resumed the caution was thrown again when Ryan Preece span into the wall, almost collecting Bubba Wallace. Wallace ran low to avoid the incident, narrowly missing the wall in the process.

Both drivers were able to continue, with Wallace spending much of the final stage towards the front of the field despite being on an alternate strategy to most around him.

However, he fell backwards int he closing stages of the race and finished 20th.

Matt DiBenedetto spent most of the race running towards the front of the field, taking the chequered flag sixth ahead of William Byron and Clint Bowyer, who were leaning on one another as they crossed the finish line in the battle for seventh.

Byron was classified just 0.764s ahead of Bowyer. Alex Bowman and Martin Truex Jnr completed the top 10.

Pocono 2 Results

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Gap

1

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

140

2h50m54.s

-

CLA

2

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

140

-3.068s

3.068s

CLA

3

Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

140

-16.756s

16.756s

CLA

4

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

140

-23.298s

23.298s

CLA

5

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

140

-25.305s

25.305s

CLA

6

Matt DiBenedetto

Wood Brothers Racing

Ford

140

-25.656s

25.656s

CLA

7

William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

140

-27.621s

27.621s

CLA

8

Clint Bowyer

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

140

-28.385s

28.385s

CLA

9

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

140

-28.388s

28.388s

CLA

10

Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

140

-28.499s

28.499s

CLA

11

Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

Ford

140

-29.551s

29.551s

CLA

12

Matt Kenseth

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet

140

-32.658s

32.658s

CLA

13

Kurt Busch

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet

140

-34.658s

34.658s

CLA

14

Austin Dillon

Richard Childress Racing

Chevrolet

140

-45.599s

45.599s

CLA

15

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

JTG Daugherty Racing

Chevrolet

140

-47.996s

47.996s

CLA

16

Jimmie Johnson

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

140

-50.622s

50.622s

CLA

17

Cole Custer

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

140

-53.460s

53.460s

CLA

18

Ryan Newman

Roush Fenway Racing

Ford

139

-

1 Lap

CLA

19

John Hunter Nemechek

Front Row Motorsports

Ford

139

-

1 Lap

CLA

20

Darrell Wallace Jr.

Richard Petty Motorsports

Chevrolet

139

-

1 Lap

CLA

21

Corey LaJoie

Go FAS Racing

Ford

139

-

1 Lap

CLA

22

Ryan Blaney

Team Penske

Ford

139

-

1 Lap

CLA

23

Ty Dillon

Germain Racing

Chevrolet

139

-

1 Lap

CLA

24

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Ford

139

-

1 Lap

CLA

25

Ryan Preece

JTG Daugherty Racing

Chevrolet

139

-

1 Lap

CLA

26

Daniel Suarez

Gaunt Brothers Racing

Toyota

139

-

1 Lap

CLA

27

Brennan Poole

Premium Motorsports

Chevrolet

138

-

2 Laps

CLA

28

J.J. Yeley

Rick Ware Racing

Ford

138

-

2 Laps

CLA

29

Timmy Hill

MBM Motorsports

Toyota

137

-

3 Laps

CLA

30

James Davison

Spire Motorsports

Chevrolet

136

-

4 Laps

CLA

31

Quin Houff

StarCom Racing

Chevrolet

136

-

4 Laps

CLA

32

Garrett Smithley

Rick Ware Racing

Chevrolet

136

-

4 Laps

CLA

33

Joey Gase

Petty Ware Racing

Ford

136

-

4 Laps

CLA

34

Josh Bilicki

Tommy Baldwin Racing

Chevrolet

136

-

4 Laps

CLA

35

Tyler Reddick

Richard Childress Racing

Chevrolet

135

-

5 Laps

CLA

36

Chris Buescher

Roush Fenway Racing

Ford

135

-

5 Laps

CLA

37

B.J. McLeod

BJ McLeod Motorsports

Chevrolet

133

-

7 Laps

CLA

38

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

74

-

Accident

CLA

39

Christopher Bell

Leavine Family Racing

Toyota

39

-

Accident

CLA

40

Michael McDowell

Front Row Motorsports

Ford

15

-

Accident

CLA


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