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JGR Race Report &#151 Pennsylvania 500 &#151 HAMLIN WINS

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  • Date: July 23, 2006
  • Event: Pennsylvania 500 (Round 20 of 36)
  • Series: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
  • Location:Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
  • Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing
  • JGR Finish: Tony Stewart (seventh ¿ running, completed 200 of 200 laps); J.J. Yeley (11th ¿ running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
  • Denny Hamlin dominated Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, leading 151 of 200 laps en route to his second career victory in NASCAR's top division. It was the 51st Nextel Cup win for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Kinko's Chevrolet, became Mr. Pocono in 2006 winning both races at the 2.5-mile triangle from the pole. He led a combined 234 of 400 laps in both races and joins Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1985), Tim Richmond (1986), Bobby Labonte (1999), and Jimmie Johnson (2004) as the only drivers to score two wins in the same season at Pocono, however, he is the first rookie to accomplish the feat. Next year, Hamlin will have a chance to join Allison and Richmond as the only drivers to win three consecutive races at Pocono. Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet, rallied from a 1-lap penalty to finish seventh. Stewart was involved in an accident with Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards on Lap 31 of the 200-lap race. NASCAR officials determined that Stewart was guilty of aggressive driving and penalized Stewart by holding him in the pits for one lap. After the green flag on Lap 37, Stewart passed leader Ryan Newman on Lap 40 to get back on the lead lap. A caution on Lap 65, solidified Stewart being on the lead lap and he then began charging through the field, eventually ending up seventh. J.J. Yeley, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, finished 11th, capping off a banner day for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin now leads the trio of JGR drivers in the championship point standings. He gained four spots to eighth in the championship point standings, 425 markers arrears series leader Jimmie Johnson. Stewart moved up one spot to tenth and into the Chase for the Nextel Cup. He is 462 points behind Johnson and 35 points ahead of 11th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. Yeley occupies the 26th spot having gained one spot with his 11th-place finish. Kurt Busch finished second, while Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Kevin Harvick secured the rest of the top-five. Johnson, Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton and Martin Truex Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10. The Nextel Cup Series takes a weekend off before heading to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Aug. 6 Brickyard 400. The race starts at 2:40 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC.

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