Denny Hamlin ended a sophomore slump of sorts when he won the rain delayed Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. The win was Hamlin’s first of the season and broke a 50 race winless streak. His last victory had come in 2008 at Martinsville Raceway.
After the race, an emotional Hamlin dedicated the victory to his grandmother who passed away late last week at the age of 91. His grandmother reportedly watched every race holding her #11 teddy bear”with her eyes just a few inches from the screen as her vision worsened with age:
She understands the competition of the sport and she understands how much she means to me. Like today, she’s pretty proud. We definitely had some angels with us today.”
Hamlin has always raced well on the unique triangle configuration track at Pocono. He swept both races here as a rookie in 2006 and after the race his boss J.D. Gibbs made note of that fact:
I told him earlier, we’re going to lobby for a few extra races at Pocono”
Hamlin moved up to fifth in the NASCAR championship points standings after the victory. Tony Stewart increased his lead over Jimmie Johnson to 197 points with a top ten finish.
Clint Bowyer finished third and expressed pleasure with the solid performance in his postrace comments:
“Things haven’t been going our way all year long so it feels good to have something swing our way.
Former Indy Car driver Sam Hornish, Jr. took fourth. Kasey Kahne rounded out the top five board.
Points leader Stewart will have a good opportunity to increase his lead this weekend, as NASCAR heads to Watkins Glen, NY to race on the road course there. Stewart is considered not only the best road course driver among current NASCAR competitors, but arguably the best of all time. The following week NASCAR travels to the Michigan International Speedway for the CarFax 400.
Ross Everett is a widely published freelance sports writer and respected authority on MLB free picks. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sportsbooks and NHL free picks sites.
Other Automotive News on the Web