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

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.

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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