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Denny Hamlin Wins NASCAR Cup Race At Kansas; Eight Drivers Advance To 3rd Round Of Playoffs

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Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

TOPEKA, KANSAS (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin is advancing to the third round of NASCAR’s Playoffs after winning Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.  Hamlin held off a hard-charging Chase Elliott in the 2nd NASCAR overtime to win by .128-seconds.  The win was Hamlin’s fifth of the year and 36th of his career.

“Happy for the whole FedEx team,” said Hamlin.  “That car was awesome. To dominate the second half of that race. I thought the strength of us really was being able to move around the racetrack, run close to the same lap time no matter what lane we were in. That kind of allowed me to get through traffic the way we did, then obviously hold those guys off at the end.”

Elliott finished second and started the final restart in third place knowing his best chance to advance to the next round of the playoffs was to get past Hamlin and win.

“I was trying to make a run a Denny but we just never got out momentum up enough for me to do anything about it,” said Elliott.  “The good news was the bottom lane rolled enough on that last restart so we could get back to second.  I appreciate the effort.  Just excited we get to fight another race.”

Elliott didn’t win but he did advance to the third round on points edging Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski for the eighth and final transfer spot.

“I couldn’t get nothing to go for me on the restart on the inside line,” said Keselowski.  “I needed to get up (into the outside lane) and I couldn’t get up and somebody went 3-wide and I got sandwiched in the middle of (turn) four.  It was just all bad and I didn’t do a good enough job.”

Kyle Busch started restarted NASCAR overtime in third place and finished in third place, which enabled Busch to move into the third round of the playoffs.

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Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch finished fourth in the No. 1 Advent Health Chevrolet.

Hendrick Motorsports William Byron rounded out the top 5.  Byron needed to win to advance to the next round of the playoffs and was eliminated despite the strong finish.

JGR’s Martin Truex Jr, and Erik Jones finished sixth and seventh respectively.  Stewart Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick finished eighth and ninth with Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top 10.

The five other drivers advancing to the third round of the NASCAR Playoffs include Truex, Joey Logano, Harvick, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney.

The next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is October 27th at Martinsville Speedway.

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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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