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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, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta `We Paint Winners` 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 5, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin drives the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota after reparing the roof flap during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 25, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Ditech Chevrolet, leads Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SYLVANIA 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 27, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, races Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SYLVANIA 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 27, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, adds his name to the contender list after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series myAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 20, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series myAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 20, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series myAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 20, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series myAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 20, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, crosses the finish-line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series myAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 20, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series myAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 20, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy/American Heritage Chocolate Toyota, lead a pack of cars into turn one during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 12, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 12, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
(Back row L-R) Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 ARRIS Toyota, Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Libman/Menards Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, (front row L-R) Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy/American Heritage Chocolate Toyota, Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, pose for a photo after making the Chase for the Sprint Cup. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Sport Clips Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on September 5, 2015 in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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