Race Weekend Central

Denny Hamlin Earns 7th Pocono Raceway Win

With nearly the exact same move he used against Ross Chastain last season, Denny Hamlin got by Kyle Larson late to win Sunday’s (July 23) NASCAR Cup race at Pocono Raceway.

Larson and Hamlin were door-to-door entering turn one, and on exit, Hamlin shoved the No. 5 car wide. Larson ran out of room and hit the wall while Hamlin scooted by.

Among the loud voices of dissatisfaction from the crowd, Hamlin didn’t claim responsibility for either incident.

“Both guys wrecked themselves,” Hamlin told NBC Sports. “There was a lane. He missed the corner first, and evidently, he didn’t have his right-side tires clean. And when he gassed up, he kept going again. You have an option in those positions: to either hold it wide open or lift and race it out. Those are choices they made.

“I thought we had the best car, honestly. The strategy worked out well, and Chris kept getting me more towards the front…just really happy we’re finally winning these races we should win.”

The caution came out for an unrelated incident on the lap Hamlin ran Larson up the track, and Larson showed his displeasure on the way back to the start/finish line by slamming into Hamlin’s door.

Larson wouldn’t be able to hold his spot on the next restart due to damage and finished 21st.

He was none to pleased when talking to NBC Sports.

“I’ve been cost a lot of good finishes by him throughout my career, and I know he says I race a certain way, [but] I don’t think I’ve ever had to apologize to him about anything,” Larson said. “Not that I’m sure he’s going to say sorry after this. It is what it is.”

The racing was fierce and volatile all day long, as there were 11 cautions for 44 laps.

Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, Kevin Harvick and Ty Gibbs rounded out the top five.

Christopher Bell, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Harrison Burton, Erik Jones and Chase Elliott rounded out the top 10.

Joey Logano won stage one but was involved in an incident that collected Daniel Suarez at the start of stage two; both drivers finished at the bottom of the scoring pylon.

See also
Daniel Suarez Finishes Last After Pocono Wreck: 'We Shouldn’t Have Been Racing Back There'

Various strategy plays at the end of the stage put Logano toward mid-pack, and he was around 17th when the accident happened. Larson would win stage two, despite spinning into turn one himself earlier in the stage. He also was part of a strategy play that put him there and set him up for his run to the finish.

With about 50 to go, Truex appeared to be cruising toward another win, but two-tire calls put him in third at the end of green-flag pit stops. Larson and Hamlin were the two in front of the No. 19, and a Chase Briscoe crash set up a final run of restarts that saw Hamlin win out.

While not a win, a third-place finish for Truex gives him a 30-point advantage over William Byron for the regular season championship with five races remaining; Byron won the pole and led a race-high 60 laps, but he faded at the end to finish 14th.

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to Richmond Raceway on Sunday (July 30). Coverage begins on USA Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio and MRN at 3:00 p.m. ET.

About the author

Garrett joined Frontstretch as a news writer in 2023, and became a fantasy racing and betting writer in 2024. Hailing from the heart of coal country in southern West Virginia,  he's a married father of three and currently enrolled in the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at New River Community Technical College in Beaver, WV. He has been a racing fan since 1998, primarily watching NASCAR, but branching out to F1 and IndyCar as his love for motorsports has grown.

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Echo

Hamlin is a punk. Larson is a good guy, I don’t think he will pay him back in the playoffs. Ross is a different story. I think Jeff should assign Bowman and Elliott to take Hamlin out early in the first 3 playoff races if they aren’t in them. I really do.

Bobby DK

Amen. Knew as close as he got to Bowman would cause problems. Then plays Mister innocent. Running Larsen to wall is his MO. Hope those 2 teams and 6 drivers make his life miserable in the playoffs.

Bill B

Hamlin is a total d-head. He cries when someone else runs him up the track and he scrapes the wall, but blames it on the other driver when he does it. Hey douche-bag, you could have lifted when Byron ran you up the track but you didn’t. Now you run someone up the track and blame them for not lifting. Which way is it, you prick?

Last edited 8 months ago by Bill B
Bobby DK

Saw 1 water bottle hit the track. Was hoping for a good pelting. Instead he jumps out( after counting in his empty head) with 7 fingers. Go Denny!

janice

there is a long way to pitch something onto the track at pocono. seats aren’t close to the fence. you’d have to have an arm like a baseball pitcher or nfl quarterback.

Carl D.

Hamlin has a habit of racing like a jerk and not owning up to his dirty moves. Not only that, he’s always the first to whine when he thinks he’s been done wrong. Here’s to his eventual and customary choking in the playoffs.

Shayne

Kyle Petty was spot on saying Denny is always the victim. Adding that Denny was always right, just ask his friends.

I’m glad NASCAR gave everyone a stern talking to about this kind of BS racing.

Echo

Yes Kyle Petty was right. But when did nascar give them a stern talking to !! It didn’t work with buttwipe

DoninAjax

Where are you Jimmy Spencer? You need to have a “talk” with Dennass the Mennass!

janice

oh yes mr. excitement handle mr. hamlin quiet well.

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