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Denny Hamlin And Kyle Larson Start On Front Row As NASCAR Takes On Dover

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DOVER, DE (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin is on the pole position and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson is on the outside of the front row as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continue today at Dover International Speedway.

Hamlin’s fast lap of 21.559-seconds (166.984 mph) was a mere 0.003-seconds faster than Larson’s fast lap of 21.562 (166.960 mph) around the “Monster Mile”.

Hamlin’s pole position is his 32nd career pole in 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.  The pole is Hamlin’s 2nd in 2019 and fourth pole in 28-races at Dover.

“We definitely had a great qualifying effort there,” said Hamlin.  “The track temp stayed pretty consistent through but certainly didn’t thing we were going run an 21.50 by any means of the imagination.  Proud to have that kind of effort from our team.”

Larson’s second starting position is his 13th top-10 start of 2019 and ninth in 12-races at Dover.  Larson took to Twitter afterwards to explain how Hamlin was able to edge the No. 42 Clover Chevrolet from the top starting spot.

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Hamlin’s teammate Martin Truex Jr will start third after a fast lap of 21.660-seconds (166.205 mph).  This is Truex’ 17th top-10 start at Dover and 14th in 30-races this season.

Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick will start fourth and last week’s winner at Charlotte, Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott, rounds out the top-5.

Hamlin knows being out front can pay huge dividends as the “Monster Mile” is one of the most unforgiving tracks on the circuit.

“We can take every advantage we can at this race track,” said Hamlin.  “It’s been pretty tough on me.  Certainly feel like the advantage of having that number one pit stall and a very fast car bode pretty well for us.”

Hamlin currently sits third in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings, trailing his teammates Kyle Busch and Truex by 16 and 11-points respectively.

The green flag for the Drydene 400 drops at 2:30 p.m. ET with Television coverage starting at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN and on radio at SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

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NASCAR

Denny Hamlin And Kevin Harvick Score NASCAR Cup Wins At Pocono Doubleheader

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Patrick Smith/Getty Images

LONG POND, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Denny Hamlin won Sunday’s Pocono 350, the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series Doubleheader Weekend at Pocono Raceway.

Hamlin beat Kevin Harvick by 3.068-seconds to pick up his fourth victory of 2020 and 41st of his Cup Series career.  Hamlin is now tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon for the most wins all-time at “The Tricky Triangle” with six.

“It’s awesome,” said Hamlin.  “I think that’s the most wins I’ve got at any track now.  It’s hard to believe because we went through such a dry spell there kind of the middle of my career.  We’re doing a great job right now. Like I say, I hate to feel disappointed in a second and first. Man, I really feel like we should have won both races. Just didn’t work out.”

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Harvick won Saturday’s race, taking two tires on the final pit stop to grab the checkered flag from a track where he had never won.

“Everybody from Stewart-Haas Racing has done a great job,” said Harvick.  “We’ve had really fast cars every time we’ve come to Pocono, just hadn’t got to Victory Lane.”

The NASCAR Cup Series next event is the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a doubleheader with the NTT IndyCar Series.

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NASCAR

Ryan Blaney Edges Ricky Stenhouse To Win NASCAR Cup Race At Talladega

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images

TALLADEGA, AL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney picked up his first win of the season beating Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by a bumper at the rain-delayed Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Blaney and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones made contact on the front stretch, sending Jones into the outside wall as Blaney headed towards the checkered flag.

Inside of Blaney however was JTG Daugherty’s Stenhouse, who was leading hard charge of cars on the inside lane.  The pair crossed the Start/Finish line with Blaney prevailing by 0.007-seconds in a photo-finish.

“I just kind of blocked, just trying to block the best we could,” said Blaney.  “The 20 got to my outside and I tried to go up there to slow him down, I hate that I hit him, but just kind of trying to beat and bang to the line and things like that. We just edged it out, but I am really proud of this whole Menards/Sylvania Ford Mustang team.”

Stenhouse finished second and said he did all he could to get to the front.

“The 20 had a good run,” said Stenhouse.  “Then they started banging fenders, slowing each other down.  I just kept on the throttle, was able to get close to the nose of the 12 there coming across the line.  All in all it was a solid day for us.”

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Stewart Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola finished third with his rear bumper crossing the Start/Finish line first as he was caught up in the Jones accident.

Denny Hamlin finished fourth followed by Jones who after hitting the wall crossed the line in fifth.

Talladega Cup Results

Prior to the race drivers and crew members surrounded Bubba Wallace’s No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet and pushed it to the front of the starting grid in a show of support after a noose was found in the RPM garage area on Sunday.

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – JUNE 22: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, and team owner, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty stand for the national anthem prior to the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on June 22, 2020 in Talladega, Alabama. A noose was found in the garage stall of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway a week after the organization banned the Confederate flag at its facilities. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the FBI is investigating and that whoever is responsible for the action will be suspended for life from NASCAR.

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IndyCar

Chip Ganassi Condemns Noose Incident At Talladega

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Pittsburgh’s Chip Ganassi is condemning Sunday’s noose incident at Talladega Superspeedway.

Ganassi, who fields the No. 1 Monster Energy/Gearwrench Camaro driven by Kurt Busch and the No. 42 Credit One Bank/McDonald’s Chevrolet driven by Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR Cup Series, called the incident “horrific and completely reprehensible” and said now is the time to “rid NASCAR, and all sports, of these ignorant attitudes”.

Ganassi took to his Twitter feed to share those feelings.  Here’s the tweet:

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Ganassi had to do exactly what he tweeted about when he fired former driver Kyle Larson, who uttered a racial slur in an online racing event.

Ganassi’s team also showed their support for driver Bubba Wallace and his Richard Petty Motorsports team.  The noose was found in the RPM teams garage.

Ganassi has been a long-time believer of diversity and gender equality in his race teams, which in addition to the NASCAR Cup Series, includes 3-cars in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and an upcoming entry in Extreme E in 2021.

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