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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 Freight Toyota, talks to Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, prepares for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California. Hornish is replacing Denny Hamlin who was not cleared to race due to illness.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, celebrates winning the pole position after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 14, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, celebrates winning the pole position after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 14, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The #11 FedEx Freight Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Three-wide racing with Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota; Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet; and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota; leading the pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Joe Gibbs Racing team mates Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrating in Victory Lane after winning their respective NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel races at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 2 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, poses with the winner`s trophy after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)

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