Denny Hamlin scooted to victory Sunday at Pocono Raceway, using some pit-strategy savvy to outrun Kevin Harvick as the NASCAR Cup Series capped a weekend doubleheader.
Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota led a race-high 49 of the 140 laps in the Pocono 350. His fourth win of the season was his sixth at the 2.5-mile Pocono track and the 41st of his Cup Series career.
Harvick, who won Saturday’s doubleheader opener, led 11 laps and finished second after starting 20th in his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford after an inversion of the Saturday order set the Sunday lineup. Hamlin was second to Harvick on Saturday, so their 1-2 finish was reversed a day later.
Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Aric Almirola finished out the top five in that order.
Sunday’s race — the second of two Cup Series events on back-to-back days — was delayed 30 minutes by lightning before the start and then for an additional 50 minutes, 50 seconds after just six laps were complete. The race didn’t resume in earnest until nearly 6:15 p.m. ET, and the laps wound down as darkness neared.
Kyle Busch crashed late in Stage 2, ending the day for the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota with a 38th-place finish. The incident pushed the defending Cup Series champion’s winless streak to 15 races to start the season.
The Cup Series’ next race is scheduled July 5 (4 p.m. ET, NBC, IMS, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
Well nobody was riding shotgun with The Delivernator, Denny Hamlin, at Pocono today. So, once again, this weekly award will slip back into the closet until next weekend.
THE MOVERS AND THE SHAKERS
Linda The Cookie Mom has stepped up to the plate this race leading all scorers! Cookie Mom secretly slithered her way into the back of Blazingly Bad Brad Keselowski’s hot rod for the duration of the Pocono 350. To make her Sunday exciting Kes rewarded her nicely with 42 points for the race!
Carole, aka Rudy, secured 37 points from Kurt Busch’s afternoon at the race track. That score was enough to catapult her to the top of the leaderboard, making her this week’s leader, by the time that the Sun had dropped below the horizon in Long Pond, PA.
Meanwhile, Jim, aka Chiefy, and Carlton The Doorman deposited 34 points into their 2nd segment totals. Both players were loudly rooting for The Jones Boy, Erik by name. That Jones Boy really helped these two players out Sunday.
Jeremy The Coach continues to make advances since his single digit score in the Charlotte 1 race last month. The Coach was rooting mightily for William Clyde Elliott, Jr. Sunday! You might know that driver by his nickname, Chase! Nevertheless, The Coach received 33 points for Elliott’s day at The Tricky Triangle!
Rounding out the top five scorers this week is Dan The Numbers Cruncher. After receiving some timely coaching from a knowledgable NASCAR handicapper, Your Most Humble Sheriff, it appears the The Numbers Dude is making some much need better choices! This week he was betting the farm on Clint Bowyer, and in return he received 29 points. That timely choice launched him into second in the standings!
Once again this race caused large scale, but small incrementally, movement from within the masses. This race only two players remained in their previous spots, Snoopy and The Sheriff.
The single biggest move after the second Pocono race was Bernie The Bay Area Bandit. This week La Bandita dropped like a Prom dress! She plummeted three (3) spots after Pocono 2 to take up residence in 11th place! More on this later.
There was a trio of players consisting of Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head, Jeremy The Coach, as well as Edie The Las Vegas Super Star that moved two (2) spaces. The Cheddar Head and The Vegas Super Star slid down two spots residing now in 3rd and 8th, respectively. The Coach, on the other hand, stepped up his game and climbed up two positions to now sit in 7th place.
The rest of the fantasy league, Rudy, The Numbers Dude, The Doorman, The Cookie Mom, and Chiefy all moved up one spot camping out now in 1st, 2nd, 6th, 9th, and 10th, respectively.
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
The Crappiest Pick of The Week award goes to the player who could only muster up a microscopic score of 3 points this week. Additionally, that Crappy pick also secured this player a week in The Outhouse! So for any of you that may be passing The Outhouse this week, stop in and give Bernie The Bay Area Bandit your personal congratulations on her stunning week!
Next week NASCAR will unload their haulers in Indy. That race can be found on the 2nd segment sheet.
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT AND LET’S GO RACIN’!