Role reversal: Denny Hamlin beats Kevin Harvick in second race of Pocono doubleheader

Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nascar/sprint/drivers/1283/" data-ylk="slk:Denny Hamlin">Denny Hamlin</a> gets the checkered flag as he crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Pocono Raceway, Sunday, June 28, 2020, in Long Pond, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Denny Hamlin gets the checkered flag as he crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Pocono Raceway, Sunday, June 28, 2020, in Long Pond, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Saturday, Kevin Harvick beat Denny Hamlin at Pocono in a rain-delayed race. Sunday, Hamlin beat Harvick at Pocono in a rain-delayed race.

Hamlin got the lead as cars like Harvick and others pitted ahead of him in the race’s final stage and capitalized on traffic that Harvick had to fend through to get his fourth race of the season Sunday evening. The race ended at approximately 8:45 p.m. ET in Pennsylvania after rain and lightning delays near the beginning of the 350-mile race that started after 4 p.m. ET.

The win is Hamlin’s fourth of the season and his sixth at Pocono. The four wins are the most of any driver in 2020 and the six wins tie Jeff Gordon for the most at Pocono.

There are no lights at Pocono, so the end of Sunday’s race was a race to sunset. And thankfully for everyone who wanted to see a full race, there were no cautions in the final stage. After frequent cautions for crashes and rain in the first two stages, the last stage didn’t have any slowdowns.

Harvick beat Hamlin in a similar finish on Saturday after Hamlin was able to close within a second in the closing laps. Harvick never got that close on Sunday, as Hamlin easily maintained a two-second lead over the guy who tied him with three wins in 2020 a day ago.

The win is Hamlin’s 41st of his career. He hasn’t finished any lower than fourth in each of the last four Cup Series races since he was 24th at Martinsville.

Kyle Busch crashes out

Kyle Busch crashed on lap 75 when Ryan Blaney hit him from behind.

The crash may not have been all on Blaney. Look at how much Busch had to slow down off the exit of Turn 2 at Pocono to avoid the lapped car of Garrett Smithley.

Busch didn’t want to say what happened in the crash after he was released from the infield care center. That’s probably because he got a lot of grief for what he said after an incident involving a laps-down Smithley at Las Vegas last fall.

"We're at the top echelon of motorsports, and we got guys who have never won late model races running out here on the race track,” Busch said after he ran into the back of Smithley’s car at Vegas.

The defending Cup Series champion is winless in 2020 despite having fast cars and decent finishes. Busch’s seven top-five finishes through 15 races are tied for third-most in the series.

Full results

1. Denny Hamlin

2. Kevin Harvick

3. Erik Jones

4. Chase Elliott

5. Aric Almirola

6. Matt DiBenedetto

7. William Byron

8. Clint Bowyer

9. Alex Bowman

10. Martin Truex Jr. 

11. Brad Keselowski

12. Matt Kenseth

13. Kurt Busch

14. Austin Dillon

15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 

16. Jimmie Johnson

17. Cole Custer

18. Ryan Newman

19. John Hunter Nemechek

20. Bubba Wallace

21. Corey LaJoie

22. Ryan Blaney

23. Ty Dillon

24. Joey Logano

25. Ryan Preece

26. Daniel Suarez

27. Brennan Poole

28. JJ Yeley

29. Timmy Hill

30. James Davison

31. Quin Houff

32. Garrett Smithley

33. Joey Gase

34. Josh Bilicki

35. Tyler Reddick

36. Chris Buescher

37. BJ McLeod

38. Kyle Busch

39. Christopher Bell

40. Michael McDowell

– – – – – – –

Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

More from Yahoo Sports:

What to Read Next