Hamlin Scores Third Win of the Season in Overtime Thriller at PoconoJuly 29, 2019
Denny Hamlin notched his third win of the 2019 season Sunday in a nail-biting, overtime finish at Pocono Raceway. The #11 FedEx Ground Toyota was low on fuel in the closing laps but had enough juice to get Hamlin across the finish line and into Victory Lane – with two teammates behind him for a 1-2-3 Joe Gibbs Racing finish.
The FedEx Ground Camry was fast all weekend, and crew chief Chris Gabehart called a race strategy that allowed the team to pick up points at each stage end and be out front when the final laps ticked down.
After running in the top five for most of the race, Hamlin took over the lead at the start of the third and final stage. He led for 12 laps before coming to pit road under a caution to take right-sides tires and fuel. He later passed two teammates – Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones – to regain the lead with 16 scheduled laps remaining.
Despite being low on fuel, he held onto the lead for the remaining regulation laps, plus three overtime laps. Jones and Truex Jr. followed Hamlin across the finish for a 1-2-3 team sweep.
“We did everything right to win the race,” Hamlin said. “We made the right calls, had good restarts when we needed them and overall had a really smooth race. I was doing everything I could to save fuel at the end. We had a really fast FedEx Ground Toyota and we definitely earned that win.”
Hamlin is fourth in the championship standings and fourth in playoff points. The series heads next to Watkins Glen International for another weekend of road course racing, with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 4.