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NASCAR NEWS 

Hamlin dominates again at Pocono

Denny Hamlin on his way to victory, Pocono, 2010Denny Hamlin claimed his fourth Sprint Cup series win of the season in dominant fashion in an eventful race finish at Pocono Raceway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver led 88 of the race's 204 laps, taking a perfect score from the weekend at what is arguably his best track on the calendar. In nine races at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, Hamlin has won four times, taking back-to-back wins twice.

Richard Childress Racing's Clint Bowyer had shown the way for most of the first half of the race but after Hamlin passed Kevin Harvick a few laps after the second caution of the day, he became the benchmark at the front of the field.

Only his team-mate Kyle Busch was able to steal the lead from him temporarily in one of the late restarts, as fuel calculations seemed to be the only real worry for Hamlin in the closing stages of the race.

However an incident between Roush Fenway's David Ragan and Earnhardt Ganassi's Jamie McMurray with 33 laps remaining took any fuel-saving strategies out of the equation for the leaders, as they all pitted for a short splash in order to make it to the chequered flag.

Hamlin charged back up front after his stop and opened up a decent gap to Stewart-Haas's Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch, but his cushion vanished as a late caution waved on the penultimate lap, as Joey Logano spun following contact with Kevin Harvick while fighting for fourth place.

This allowed Hamlin's rivals a shot at him in the green-white-chequered finish, but as the green flag waved, the 29-year-old put all his pace to good effect to keep his pursuers at bay and win for the fourth time this year.

"We just flat drove through those guys, and it was similar to what our win was here last year," said Hamlin, who jumped up two places to third in the standings and leads the series for number of wins thus far. "It was just a great car, and the best it was all day was that last run."

The race ended with the caution flags waved as chaos unfoled on the backstraight when Kasey Kahne lost control while trying to overtake his Richard Petty Motorsports' team-mate AJ Allmendinger on the final lap.

Mark Martin and Greg Biffle crashed hard into Kahne's Ford, with several other cars, including Jeff Gordon's, also involved in the multi-car wreck.

Busch was able to pass Stewart for second at the last restart, while Harvick held on to fourth in the end, keeping the points lead for yet another week. However he had to face a furious Logano who confronted him in the pits after the race, team personnel having to intervene.

Reigning champion Jimmie Johnson was fifth ahead of Kurt Busch, who recovered well from a brush with the wall, a pitroad penalty and being a lap down in the middle of the race to finish sixth.

RCR's Jeff Burton was seventh, ahead of EGR's Juan Pablo Montoya, who ran a similar fuel strategy to Kurt Busch to gain track position in the fifth caution of the day, scoring a top-10 finish after struggling with balance and brake issues on his car as well as a pitroad speeding violation he had to serve under green flag conditions.

Early pace-setter Bowyer was ninth in the end, while Allmendinger rounded out the top-10.

Pos  Driver              Car        Laps
 1.  Denny Hamlin        Toyota      204
 2.  Kyle Busch          Toyota      204
 3.  Tony Stewart        Chevrolet   204
 4.  Kevin Harvick       Chevrolet   204
 5.  Jimmie Johnson      Chevrolet   204
 6.  Kurt Busch          Dodge       204
 7.  Jeff Burton         Chevrolet   204
 8.  Juan Montoya        Chevrolet   204
 9.  Clint Bowyer        Chevrolet   204
10.  A.J. Allmendinger   Ford        204
11.  Sam Hornish Jr      Dodge       204
12.  Carl Edwards        Ford        204
13.  Joey Logano         Toyota      204
14.  Ryan Newman         Chevrolet   204
15.  David Reutimann     Toyota      204
16.  Paul Menard         Ford        204
17.  Matt Kenseth        Ford        204
18.  Regan Smith         Chevrolet   204
19.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Chevrolet   204
20.  Scott Speed         Toyota      204
21.  Brad Keselowski     Dodge       204
22.  Travis Kvapil       Ford        204
23.  Casey Mears         Toyota      204
24.  David Stremme       Ford        204
25.  Martin Truex Jr     Toyota      204
26.  David Ragan         Ford        204
27.  Kasey Kahne         Ford        203
28.  Greg Biffle         Ford        203
29.  Mark Martin         Chevrolet   203
30.  Marcos Ambrose      Toyota      203
31.  Elliott Sadler      Ford        203
32.  Jeff Gordon         Chevrolet   203
33.  David Gilliland     Ford        202
34.  Max Papis           Toyota      200
35.  Kevin Conway        Ford        199
36.  Jamie McMurray      Chevrolet   167
37.  J.J. Yeley          Dodge        40 
38.  Bobby Labonte       Chevrolet    32 
39.  Michael McDowell    Toyota       27 
40.  Dave Blaney         Toyota       24 
41.  Geoffrey Bodine     Chevrolet    23 
42.  Chad McCumbee       Toyota       22 
43.  Joe Nemechek        Toyota       11
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