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Pocono 500 - Pocono Raceway

Hamlin Wins First Cup Race in First Try at Pocono
Rookie Denny Hamlin had never seen the Pocono Raceway live and in person before. The 2.5-mile, triangle-shaped track with three different turns is supposed to baffle a rookie and is tricky even for a veteran. So what did Hamlin do? He stayed on his computer for three days or so. Hamlin raced the Pocono Raceway over and over on a NASCAR simulation game to familiarize himself with the track. Just how did it work out for the rookie? After a single practice session, Hamlin went out and won the pole position on Friday. Today, he used that top starting position to lead 49 of the first 50 laps before disaster struck on lap 51. Hamlin blew a right-rear tire while leading, which sent his No. 11 Chevrolet for a spin. While he was able to keep the car off the wall, the tire destroyed both batteries, the door that held the batteries in and the crush panels. Hamlin was able to pit many times under the caution period that he caused while his crew went to work repairing the damage and keeping Hamlin on the lead lap. Crew chief Mike Ford said that “We fixed 50 percent of the damage on the car” before the race would go green. On lap 177, Hamlin passed Clint Bowyer for lead and, this time, he would not give it up again. He had battled back from the early adversity to win the Pocono 500, scoring his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 21st career start. Hamlin is the first rookie to win in 57 races at Pocono. This marks the 10th race at Pocono to be won from the pole and the third time in 2006 that a race was won from the pole position. Hamlin led the most laps for the first time in his career, leading six times for a total of 83 laps, including the final 24. Hamlin becomes the first rookie to win a NEXTEL Cup race since Kyle Busch won at Phoenix in November of 2005. Kurt Busch finished second, 1.328 seconds behind Hamlin, his third top-10 and second top-five finish in 2006. Injured Tony Stewart fought through the pain of his fractured right scapula to end his day in third place. This is his 10th top-10 finish in 15 races at Pocono. Brian Vickers came home in the fourth position, followed by Matt Kenseth in fifth.

Pocono 500 Notes
· Race Results
· Chevrolet Post-Race Quotes
· Dodge Post-Race Quotes
· Ford Post-Race Quotes
· Rookie Post-Race Quotes
· WIX Lap Leader Notes
· Point Standings
· Owner Point Standings
· Final Practice
· Rookie Final Practice Quotes
· Practice 2
· Ford Saturday Quotes
· Starting Lineup
· Qualifying Results
· Chevrolet Qualifying Quotes
· Dodge Qualifying Quotes
· Ford Qualifying Quotes
· Rookie Qualifying Quotes
· Practice 1
· Chevrolet Friday Quotes
· Dodge Friday Quotes
· Qualifying Order
· Entry List
· Race Notes
· Weekend Schedule
· MRN Notes
· Raybestos Rookie Quotes
· Raybestos Rookie Notes
· Terry Labonte Notes
· David Stremme Notes
· Jimmie Johnson Notes
· Matt Kenseth Notes
· Mark Martin Notes
· Tony Stewart Notes
· Dale Earnhardt Jr. Notes
· Kasey Kahne Notes
· Jeff Burton Notes
· Kevin Harvick Notes
· Kyle Busch Notes
· Denny Hamlin Notes
· Greg Biffle Notes
· Casey Mears Notes
· Carl Edwards Notes
· Jamie McMurray Notes
· Clint Bowyer Notes
· Dale Jarrett Notes
· Kurt Busch Notes
· Ryan Newman Notes
· Reed Sorenson Notes
· Jeff Green Notes
· Scott Riggs Notes
· Brian Vickers Notes
· J.J. Yeley Notes
· Robby Gordon Notes
· Joe Nemechek Notes
· Dave Blaney Notes
· Sterling Marlin Notes
· Jeremy Mayfield Notes
· Michael Waltrip Notes
· Scott Wimmer Notes

Hamlin Pounces on Pocono Pole Position
In his first qualifying attempt at Pocono Raceway, rookie Denny Hamlin won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Pocono 500 during Friday’s time trails to become the 10th different Bud Pole winner this season. Hamlin qualified in 53.054 seconds, at an average speed of 169.638 mph, to capture his first pole position of the 2006 season. This is Hamlin’s second career pole in 21 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, with his first pole coming at Phoenix in November of 2005. Hamlin posted his ninth top-10 start in 2006, including each of the last five races. Hamlin becomes the 19th different Bud Pole winner in the past 20 races at Pocono. He extends the streak of a Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender winning a pole in each of the past 11 seasons, from 1996 to 2006. Hamlin gives Chevrolet their fourth pole of the 2006 season; Dodge has six poles, while Ford has three. Kurt Busch posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 53.102 seconds, at an average speed of 169.485 mph, and will join Hamlin on the front row. This is Busch’s 11th top-10 start this season and his best since he won the Bud Pole at California in the second race of the season. This is his third consecutive second-place start in 11 races at Pocono. Kasey Kahne will start third, posting his eighth top-10 start in 2006 and his second in five races at Pocono. Brian Vickers, who has announced that he will be leaving the No. 25 car at the end of the season, qualified fourth, his fourth top-10 start this year. Jeff Burton will roll off fifth, his seventh top-10 start in 25 races at Pocono and his first since he started eighth in three straight races from July 1999 through July 2001.


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