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Hardy2
June 14, 2006

Racing Reporter HAMLIN COMES BACK TO WIN POCONO 500


Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Fed-Ex Chevrolet earned the title, "Comeback Kid," after his performance in Sunday's Nextel Cup Pocono 500. The Joe Gibbs rookie sat on the pole and led the first 49 laps, before spinning out with a cut tire. He pitted 11 different times for repairs and then came back from 40th position to win.

"This car was on rails all day long," said Hamlin. "We made a few changes every other stop, and it was just unbelievable. I thought the race was over when we blew that tire. My success has a lot to do with Mike Ford (crew chief on the No. 11). He just put an awesome car under me. It's easy to do when you've got a car as dominant as ours."

Hamlin retook the lead from Greg Biffle on lap 163 of the 200 lap race. Except for a few laps when he pitted for fresh tires, he led the remainder of the race.

Jeff Gordon crashed hard into the outside wall of turn one during lap 190. "That was one of the hardest hits I've ever taken," said Gordon. "I think we broke a right front brake rotor going into one." The race was red-flagged while speedway safety crews cleaned up the track and replaced broken safety panels in the wall.

Green flag racing resumed on lap 195. The three leaders were: Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Tony Stewart. Hamlin easily pulled away from Busch and the rest of the field for his first Nextel Cup point's win in his 21st start.

The win was only the third time in the history of the speedway that a driver has won in his first race. The other two drivers were Richard Petty and Carl Edwards.

Edwards Dominates Music City Busch Race

Carl Edwards led 70 of the last 85 laps of Saturday's Busch Series race at Nashville and beat Clint Bowyer to the finish by 0.92 seconds. It was Edwards second win in the past three Busch races.

Bodine Takes Texas Truck Win

Todd Bodine only led one lap at Texas Motor Speedway, and that was the last and final one, as he passed Mike Skinner for his third win of the season. Skinner led 113 laps as he dominated the race in a Toyota, but a late caution, brought out by Jack Sprague erased the 4.5 second lead he had built. It was Bodine's 10th career victory. He has now won three of the past four Texas Truck races.

Racing Trivia Question: Burney Lamar is a new driver in the Busch Series. Which team does he drive for?

Last Week's Racing Trivia Question: Which Cup team does Scott Riggs drive for? Answer. He drives the No. 10 Ray Evernham Dodge.

You may read additional racing stories at www.race500.com.

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