NASCAR: Can Denny Hamlin Make History at Pocono Raceway?

by Jonathan Howard

When you talk about making history in NASCAR, that’s a lot to live up to. Denny Hamlin might make his own history in Pocono this weekend. There have been a lot of ups and downs with Hamlin and his team. At first, it seemed like they couldn’t catch a break. Now, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has steadied the ship a bit.

With two wins on the season, Hamlin is going to be driving in the postseason. However, he doesn’t sit in the middle of the pack as far as playoff points and standings are concerned. Hamlin has two 6th place finishes in his last four races and has more confidence than earlier in the season.

But, this week is special. It’s Pocono. Not only did Hamlin win his first Cup Series race there as a rookie — he swept both races in the 2006 season. Since then, he’s gone on to win back-to-back races again (two different seasons) and add a couple of other wins at the Pennsylvania track as well. His most recent win came in 2020.

No win was more important than his Pocono checkered flag in 2009.

There’s more to it than that, though. Hamlin is currently tied with Jeff Gordon for most wins ever at the track. If he snags a seventh Cup Series victory at Pocono he’ll solidify himself into another piece of NASCAR history.

That Tricky Triangle hasn’t really been all too tricky for Hamlin. He’s got a great record at the track and plans on adding to it if he can. He finished 6th this past weekend at New Hampshire. Could he join Chase Elliott as the only two drivers this season with three wins? We’ll have to wait and see.

Denny Hamlin Won as a Rookie, Can He Win Pocono in First Next Gen Race?

This will be the first time that fans and drivers get to see NASCAR’s Next Gen cars on the track at Pocono. Last year, in the last season for the last generation of cars, Hamlin didn’t do great. He finished 14th after starting 17th. But he has some idea of why this track is so special for him.

“As oddly shaped as it is, for whatever reason it’s fit my driving style over the course of my career and we’ve won in so many different cars and configurations of that track,” Hamlin said before last season’s race. “It’s got a lot of great family amenities and that’s what makes it a great track.”

Denny Hamlin and the rest of the Cup Series field are gearing up for Pocono. With their eyes set on the next goal at hand, who is going to come away with that checkered flag? Will Hamlin reclaim Pocono and become the all-time winner? Let us know what you think, Outsiders.