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
|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|