Stories from the Pocono Race: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson et al
Notes and quotes from Sunday’s Cup race at Pocono:
– Kyle Larson was upset with winner Denny Hamlin after the race on a move by Hamlin that forced Larson into the wall on the restart with 7 laps to go. “We’re friends,” Larson told NBC Sports’ Kim Coon. “Yeah, that makes things awkward and confusing. Whoever he is, he’s always right. All the guys know he’s always right. So, I’m sure he was right too. He’s what he is. I’m not going to let it tarnish on the right track, but I’m angry. I feel like I should be angry.” Contact damaged Larson’s car and moved him from battling Hamlin for the lead to 20th.
Denny Hamlin defended himself. He said he did not hit Larson’s car and also indicated that he did not hit Alex Bowman’s car before Bowman had spun earlier in the race.
Martin Truex Jr. has finished in the top three in seven of the last 13 races. Includes three wins.
Ty Gibbs finished 5th in his career. His previous best Cup score was 9th in Atlanta in March
Daytona 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished seventh in his seventh top-10 of the season. He only had five top ten finishes last year. “The guys made some really good adjustments and we got better,” said Stenhouse.
Eric Jones’ ninth-place finish marks his eighth time in the top ten at Pocono. This is the most for him at any Cup track. “We made a lot of strategy and some chances to get to the top there at the end,” Jones said.
Chase Elliott finished 10th. He’s 56 points from the cutting line with five races to go. He had four points on the cut line on Sunday. Michael McDowell continues to hold the final playoff spot.
– AJ Allmendinger is the first driver outside the qualifying area. He is 17 points behind Michael McDowell. Allmendinger finished 17th. McDowell finished 19th.
Daniel Suarez finished last. It was eliminated in a crash on restart. He entered the race one point outside the tiebreaker zone. He has now returned 23 points.
Austin Dillon finished 34th after making contact with Tyler Reddick and destroying Dillon. Dillon threw his helmet at Riddick’s car when he passed it after the accident. “Brad (Keselowski) was out there, probably a half lane up,” Dillon told NBC Sports’ Kim Coon after exiting the pitch care center. “But Tyler (Reddick) drove it there, and I obviously feel like he drove it there deep enough that he had to come up to the track. We could look at SMT and see the cool little moves we’re doing, but I felt like it wasn’t the right time to do it with the No. 45.”
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