Hamlin celebrates another Pocono win

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LONG POND, Pa. --- Denny Hamlin is so enamored with the No. 11 Toyota he won in Sunday at Pocono that he's asked team owner Joe Gibbs if he can keep it when it's finally taken out of the rotation.

Denny Hamlin smokes his car's tires along the main straightaway after capturing the Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono. It was his fourth career victory at the track. 
  Associated Press
Associated Press
Denny Hamlin smokes his car's tires along the main straightaway after capturing the Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono. It was his fourth career victory at the track.

After watching Hamlin celebrate a little too giddily following another triumph at the quirky 2.5-mile oval, Gibbs isn't certain Hamlin can foot the repair bill.

Hamlin whooped it up after collecting his fourth win at the track, doing a lengthy burnout that ended up with Hamlin smacking the wall.

If Hamlin can keep finding his way to Victory Lane, Gibbs probably won't mind picking up the tab.

Hamlin's fourth win of the season and fourth in nine career starts at the "tricky triangle" vaulted him to third in the standings. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch finished second in his 200th Cup start. Tony Stewart was third, followed by points leader Kevin Harvick.

"Hopefully we peak at the right time. I mean anyone would say 'Yeah, you're peaking right now.' Really I feel like the best is yet to come," Hamlin said.

While Hamlin was smoking the tires, teammate Joey Logano was on pit road confronting Harvick after Harvick knocked Logano out of the race on lap 198.

Logano went to speak to series officials after the race to talk things over. He didn't go without taking a dig at Harvick first.

"It's probably not (Harvick's) fault," Logano said. "His wife wears the firesuit in the family, tells him what to do, so it's probably not his fault."

Harvick's crew chief Gil Martin claimed Logano sped toward Harvick's pit box and nearly slammed into several crew members before coming to a stop.

"If his foot had slipped off the break right there he would have crushed about three people's legs," Martin said. "If that were to happened, it would have been an all-out brawl on pit row."

It would have mimicked what was happening on the track over the last 40 laps, when a series of cautions shuffled the field and led to the kind of aggressive driving typically seen at Daytona or Talladega.

Stewart was clearly frustrated despite his best finish since early spring.

"I've seen some of the worst driving I've ever seen in my life in a professional series right here today," he said. "So for anybody that's looking for drama for the next couple races, start looking because I can promise I'm going to start making the highlight reel."

What's next

WHAT: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400

WHEN: 1 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

TV: TNT


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