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NASCAR at Pocono results: Denny Hamlin beats setting sun, Pocono 350 field with expert strategy

NASCAR at Pocono results: Denny Hamlin beats setting sun, Pocono 350 field with expert strategyNASCAR at Pocono results: Denny Hamlin beats setting sun, Pocono 350 field with expert strategy

Denny Hamlin’s crew pulled off a masterful final pit stop to find clear air, put rival Kevin Harvick in his rearview mirror and defeat a setting sun that threatened to end Sunday’s Pocono 350 early.

Rain and lightning forced several delays in Stage 1, and because the Pocono Raceway doesn’t have lights, threatened to shut down the track before the full 140 laps could be completed. No accidents or delays over the final 55 laps ensured a complete race.

Harvick finished second and was followed by Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Aric Almirola.

Kyle Busch crashed out of the race in the early going following a strong start.

MORE: Facts of Bubba Wallace noose case show it wasn’t a hoax

Full race results, details from NASCAR at Pocono

Top 20 finishers

Pos. Driver
1 Denny Hamlin
2 Kevin Harvick
3 Erik Jones
4 Chase Elliott
5 Aric Almirola
6 Matt DiBenedetto
7 William Byron
8 Clint Bowyer
9 Alex Bowman
10 Martin Truex Jr.
11 Brad Keselowski
12 Matt Kenseth
13 Kurt Busch
14 Austin Dillon
15 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
16 Jimmie Johnson
17 Cole Custer
18 Ryan Newman
19 John Hunter Nemechek
20 Bubba Wallace

Leaders: 8

Lead changes: 11

Cautions: 8

Sporting News tracked live race updates and lap-by-lap highlights from Sunday’s NASCAR race at Pocono. Follow below to see how Hamlin won the competition:

Race highlights from NASCAR at Pocono

8:43 p.m.: Denny Hamlin wins the Pocono 350.

Retweet to congratulate @dennyhamlin on his WIN! He ties @JeffGordonWeb as the all-time Pocono winner with six total.@CocaColaRacing |

— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 29, 2020

Top 10 finishers at Pocono 2:

1. Hamlin

2. Harvick

3. Jones

4. Elliott

5. Almirola

6. DiBenedetto

7. Byron

8. Bowyer

9. Bowman

10. Truex

— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 29, 2020

Denny Hamlin wins at Pocono for his fourth win of the season. This is the fifth time in his 15-year career he’s won four or more races in a season. He now leads the Cup Series in 2020 wins and also extends his playoff points lead.

— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 29, 2020

8:40 p.m.: Sunset is here and it won’t matter barring an unexpected caution. There have been no stoppages since Stage 2.

8:37 p.m.: Five more laps to go. Hamlin is cruising. Behind him is Harvick, Keselowski, Jones and Elliott, in that order.

8:32 p.m.: It’s Hamlin’s race to lose. Can he hold on?

“Just go. Just don’t make a mistake.”

No pressure, @dennyhamlin.

: FS1 :

— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 29, 2020

8:30 p.m.: Truex Jr. pits and Hamlin takes command. He expects to win.

“The 4 will not get to you. Not fast enough,” Hamlin is told.

— Alan Cavanna (@AlanCavanna) June 29, 2020

8:27 p.m.: This race is getting tense down the stretch.

18 to go. It’s Truex-Hamlin-Harvick, but Truex has to stop.

Hamlin is 2.5 seconds ahead of Harvick.

— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 29, 2020

8:21 p.m.: They’re still going with 25 more laps to reach the full 140. Even one caution could lead to an early ending on account of darkness. Top three right now: Hamlin, Almirola, Truex Jr.

25 laps to go: sun is setting.

— Dustin Albino (@DustinAlbino) June 29, 2020

8:11 p.m.: Drivers might not be able to see very well soon.

“TV is not doing it’s justice as how dark it is” – Bowyer’s CC John Klausmeier #NASCAR

— Bryan Nolen (@TheBryanNolen) June 29, 2020

8:03 p.m.: As drivers prepare to finish an abridged race due to the setting sun, Kevin Harvick takes his first lead of the competition.

New leader, @KevinHarvick as Kez pits. #NASCAR

— Chris Knight ツ (@Knighter01) June 29, 2020

7:49 p.m.: Brad Keselowski wins Stage 2.

Third stage win of the year for Brad Keselowski. He now has 13 playoff points, which ranks fourth in the series.

Others getting stage points in Stage 2:

2. Almirola

3. Newman

4. Truex

5. Stenhouse

6. Harvick

7. ADillon

8. KuBusch

9. DiBenedetto

10. Hamlin

— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 28, 2020

7:42 p.m.: Now Ryan Preece crashes. Bubba Wallace somehow avoided trouble in the aftermath.

.@RyanPreece_ went for a spin while @BubbaWallace caught some air!

You can hear the relief over the No. 43 radio .

— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 28, 2020

.@BubbaWallace IS A DAMN SORCERER.

— nascarcasm (@nascarcasm) June 28, 2020

7:34 p.m.: Big wreck involving Kyle Busch.

“Are you alright?” @KyleBusch is asked.

“Who cares” is his response. #NASCAR

— Dustin Albino (@DustinAlbino) June 28, 2020

Kyle Busch is done for the day with 10 laps to go in Stage 2.

— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 28, 2020

7:30 p.m.: The race will count even if it isn’t completed, as drivers have passed the halfway point.

Race is halfway and now official.

— (@jayski) June 28, 2020

7:26 p.m.: There are still 18 laps remaining in Stage 2. Denny Hamlin is running in first now.

Teams already talking about it “being dark before we are done.” #NASCAR

— Chris Knight ツ (@Knighter01) June 28, 2020

7:17 p.m.: Kyle Busch passes Blaney at the front of the pack with 27 of 55 Stage 2 laps complete.

7:09 p.m.: This could be a losing battle for NASCAR.

Sunset is 8:38. Depending on cloud cover, typically can run about 5-15 minutes after sunset before it is too race. That is 90-105 minutes and 92 laps to go and they do laps of 53 seconds under green.

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 28, 2020

7:02 p.m.: Just after the green flag comes out, there’s another crash and another caution. This time Chris Buescher crashes.

Spin coming out of Turn 3! @Chris_Buescher spins in front of the field, but everyone is able to avoid the No. 17.

— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 28, 2020

6:50 p.m.: Caution for Bell spinning into the wall.

Heavy damage for Christopher Bell at Pocono.

— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 28, 2020

Two of yesterday’s top-10 finishers (Bell and McDowell) have already crashed out of the race and will finish 39th and 40th.

— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 28, 2020

6:48 p.m.: Ryan Blaney moves into the lead.

6:36 p.m.: Kurt Busch wins Stage 1. He’s followed by Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell.

Kurt Busch wins the opening stage. KuBusch Blaney Bell Harvick Keselowski

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 28, 2020

First stage win of the season for Kurt Busch | #NASCAR

— Kelly Crandall (@KellyCrandall) June 28, 2020

Kurt Busch wins the opening stage Sunday at Pocono.

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 28, 2020

6:31 p.m.: Kurt Busch leads with five laps remaining in a discombobulated Stage 1.

6:25 p.m.: Back to green.

6:19 p.m.: Caution. Quick crash involving Michael McDowell.

Michael McDowell blames Chase Elliott for that wreck. He’s told: “Remember that. He’s got a lot more to lose than we do.”

— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) June 28, 2020

“[Elliott] drove us right into the fence.” Heavy damage for Michael McDowell.

— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 28, 2020

6:15 p.m.: OK, finally a green flag. Let’s hope it lasts.

6:08 p.m.: This is the worst.

Light rain continuing. Still no change to track surface. Restart waved off.

— (@jayski) June 28, 2020

6:01 p.m.: For the third time this afternoon, engines are fired.

Track is dry and engines have fired under the rainbow.

— Alex Hayden (@TheAlexHayden) June 28, 2020

5:52 p.m.: Looks like NASCAR is going to give this another try.

NASCAR wants drivers to return to their cars now, although that doesn’t mean the race is about to resume. Still drying to do.

— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 28, 2020

5:30 p.m.: Uh oh.

Not sure if TV has showed outside of Turn 3 at all, but it don’t look good. #NASCAR

— Dustin Albino (@DustinAlbino) June 28, 2020

5:05 p.m.: After just three laps, the caution flag is out for rain. Red follows soon after. Kurt Busch held the early lead before action was halted.

NASCAR calling for the red flag. Another rain delay. I should probably just retweet another weather tweet from this season at this point.

— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 28, 2020

15 races into the NASCAR Cup Series season:

9 have had weather delays

3 have been postponed a full day

— Eric Estepp (@EricEstepp17) June 28, 2020

5:01 p.m.: Green flag is out! But rain in the area means we might have another stoppage soon.

4:52 p.m.: The latest on the weather.

Drivers are getting back into their cars at Pocono as NASCAR has received the all-clear on lightning | #NASCAR

— Kelly Crandall (@KellyCrandall) June 28, 2020

4:20 p.m.: Lightning strikes in the distance and we have a 30 minute delay (at least).

Lightning strike in the vicinity. Lightning delay.

— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 28, 2020

4:15 p.m.: Engines fired.

Yes I’m biased but… that was the best command to start engines. Ever

— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) June 28, 2020

4:13 p.m.: Here’s the instrumental national anthem.

That was incredible. Legendary saxophonist @m_dot_philly performs our national anthem.

— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 28, 2020

4 p.m.: TV coverage ahead of the race starts now. The race itself should be here soon.

About 5 minutes until pre-race ceremonies scheduled to start.

— (@jayski) June 28, 2020

3:41 p.m.: Hopefully there won’t be any interruptions this afternoon. We’re about 20 minutes away from the start of intro proceedings.

Pocono under severe thunderstorm warming but storm staying north of track at moment.

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 28, 2020

What time does the NASCAR race start today?

The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono will wave shortly after 4 p.m. ET, about 30 minutes later than the start time for Saturday’s first leg of the doubleheader.

While the dates for both Pocono races in the Saturday-Sunday doubleheader remain unchanged from NASCAR’s original 2020 schedule despite the coronavirus shake-up, the start times are a little later. The pair of races originally were scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. ET, respectively, rather than 3:30 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET.

Those later start times are notable, because Pocono Raceway does not have lights in the event Sunday’s race is delayed by weather.

NASCAR starting lineup at Pocono

Below is the starting lineup for Sunday’s race at Pocono based on Saturday’s results:

Pos. Driver
1. Ryan Preece
2. Austin Dillon
3. Kurt Busch
4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
5. Cole Custer
6. Ryan Newman
7. William Byron
8. Matt DiBenedetto
9. Ryan Blaney
10. Matt Kenseth
11. Chris Buescher
12. Brad Keselowski
13. Michael McDowell
14. Clint Bowyer
15. Martin Truex Jr.
16. Kyle Busch
17. Christopher Bell
18. Aric Almirola
19. Denny Hamlin
20. Kevin Harvick
21. Jimmie Johnson
22. Bubba Wallace
23. Corey LaJoie
24. John Hunter Nemechek
25. Chase Elliott
26. Ty Dillon
27. Alex Bowman
28. Daniel Suarez
29. Brennan Poole
30. Tyler Reddick
31. JJ Yeley
32. Josh Bilicki
33. Garrett Smithley
34. James Davison
35. Timmy Hill
36. Joey Logano
37. Joey Gase
38. Erik Jones
39. BJ McLeod
40. Quin Houff

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