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Hamlin stays perfect at Pocono.

Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Denny Hamlin sealed a remarkable Pocono sweep with a comfortable victory in Sunday's Pennsylvania 500.

The driver of the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing FedEx backed Chevrolet cantered to his second career Nextel Cup victory at the 2.5-mile triangular shaped circuit to complete a perfect year in the beautiful Pennsylvania hills.

The Bud Pole winner led comfortably at the start, opening up a massive lead in the opening 20 laps before a 'competition caution' from NASCAR to evaluate the new left hand side tyres in place for this event.

The 25-year old Hamlin continued to pace the field throughout the three and three-quarter hour marathon, leading 100 of the final 107 laps to finish a year that has seen him take both pole positions and both race wins at a track he drove for the first time on June 9th.

Penske Racing's Kurt Busch, one of several drivers fighting to keep themselves in touching distance of the Chase for the Championship, emerged as Hamlin's closest competition in the second half of the 200-lap race. However Busch could only get within a second and a half of the leader in the final 20-lap green flag run after battling his way past Jeff Gordon.

Gordon held on for third, like Busch grateful for a good result at a critical time in the season and also thankful for getting through the race unscathed after a massive crash in turn one last month.

Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Brian Vickers continued his fine run of form with a fourth place finish while Kevin Harvick, points leader Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart rounded out the top seven.

The day was an eventful one for Stewart, who was penalised a lap by NASCAR in the early stages for pushing rookie Clint Bowyer into Carl Edwards on the front straight. After fighting to get his lap back Stewart's recovery was hindered by a retaliatory shove from Edwards on pit road, that resulted in the same penalty for the driver of the #99 Roush Racing Ford.

Bobby Labonte had a fine run for Petty Enterprises to eighth place while Jeff Burton fell back after holding the lead for more than 20 laps in the early stages. Rookies Martin Truex Jr and JJ Yeley finished tenth and eleventh with Kyle Busch recovering from a lap down to take 12th.



Related Pictures

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Denny Hamlin. [Pic Credit Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images]
Denny Hamlin and Darian Grubb, the crew chief of the #11 Joe Gibb Racing Toyota, consult in the garage area during testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick in action. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 8, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 8, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 8, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 8, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, qualified eighth Friday, June 6, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Earnhardt, Jr. is fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, qualified fifth Friday, June 6, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS (right) qualified fourth and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Wix Filters Chevrolet SS (left) qualified fifteenth Friday, June 6, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Harvick is is twelfth, Newman is eleventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, will start on the front row Sunday, June 8, 2014 for the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Busch missed the pole position Friday by 2/1000`s of a second. He is 27th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 6, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 6, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 6, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)

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