Saturday, October 30, 2010

Denny Hamlin Wins Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR Race

By Ross Everett

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."

The unique triangle configuration track at Pocono bedevils many drivers, but Hamlin has always performed well here. 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 is now fifth in the NASCAR championship points standings after the victory. Tony Stewart increased his lead over Jimmie Johnson to 197 points with a 10th place finish.

Juan Pablo Montoya finished second, moving him up to 8th place in the overall points standings. 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"his best finish since coming to NASCAR. Kasey Kahne rounded out the top five.

NASCAR heads to Watkins Glen, NY to race on the road course there for the next race. Current points leader Tony 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.

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