Hamlin Seeks Series Sweep At Pocono

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Toyota) has plenty of reasons
for optimism as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series arrives at PoconoRaceway for this Sunday’s Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500.


So do Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge), Kyle Busch
(No 18 M&M’s Toyota) and Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet).
Adding to the dynamics, the conclusion of Sunday’s race
marks the completion of the fifth of 10 races that make up the Race
to the Chase. Only five races will remain for drivers to make it into
the top 12 of the standings, which would make them eligible for theChase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.


After June’s series stop at Pocono, Hamlin was in Victory Lane
for the fourth time in 2010, and had jumped from fifth to third in the
series standings. It also was his fourth career Pocono win, tying himwith Gordon as the leading active Pocono race winners.


Hamlin seems to have a charmed relationship with the unor-
thodox track, a triangle formed by three turns of different radius and
three different lengths of straight-aways. He scored his first and
second career wins at Pocono, sweeping both events in 2006. And
he’s the defending champion of Sunday’s Sunoco/American RedCross 400.

“Pocono is really unlike any other track, Hamlin said. “The turns all have their own characteristics but they are all relatively flat and those are the kinds of corners that I feel I’m best on.

“Turn 1 is a very wide sweeping corner but it’s got a little bit of banking to it, so you need to have a car that basically will stay up on the banking.