NASCAR: Denny Hamlin Makes History, Wins M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 for Seventh Pocono Victory

by Jonathan Howard

UPDATE: Denny Hamlin was later disqualified after failing post-race inspection. Also failing tech after the race was second place finisher and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch. Chase Elliott has been named the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 winner in place of Hamlin.

Great racing, a little drama, and a Tricky Triangle. Denny Hamlin wins at Pocono Raceway on a wild NASCAR Sunday of racing. The Cup Series is at its best when there is something more than just a win at stake. Hamlin made history with his seventh Pocono Raceway win, passing Jeff Gordon, and notched his third win of the season. Chase Elliott is the only other driver on the year with three wins.

Now tied with Tony Stewart at 49 wins, it’s a massive day for Hamlin and his team.

Fun Racing at the Tricky Triangle

The race today in Pocono gave us a lot of fun moments. Throughout the race, it was a battle not just on the track going 185+ MPH but also on pit road. The crews really earned their pay today with their quick work and competitive stops. The Tricky Triangle can wear on those tires in a particular way. Getting a good strategy on the pit stops is always important, but it’s key to winning races like this.

Kyle Busch was simply the best-looking car for 80% of the race. However, there was a battle with Ross Chastain, who once again found himself driving a fast car and leading for a number of laps. While Busch did look good for a long time, there were a couple of spots where he messed up and let his car get away from him.

Then, there was Denny Hamlin. The Joe Gibbs Racing teammate of Busch was able to show why he has six checkered flags there. The No. 11 wanted to get that seventh win at the track. It wasn’t going to be easy, though. Again, the battle on pit road is what changed a lot of this race.

Denny Hamlin vs. Ross Chastain III – Hamlin’s Revenge

This season, there have been a few incidents between Chastain and Denny Hamlin. From Gateway to Atlanta – it’s been one thing after another. And Ross usually needs up on the better end of things.

That No. 1 and No .11 just seem to be attracted to one another. This time – the 11 came out on top. This wasn’t a malicious move, this was tough racing and not giving up track position. Chastain doesn’t back off – and here we are.

Denny Hamlin would go on to power through ahead of his JGR teammate. He won both Pocono races his rookie season, it was his first win ever back then in 2006. He’s won there many times since. Now, he has the most Cup Series wins ever at the Tricky Triangle.

If you thought Hamlin was going to let the young guys dominate this season, think again. He’s still got plenty left in the tank and will be looking to win that elusive Cup Series championship