Hamlin wins second race at Pocono

Monday, July 24, 2006

LONG POND, Pa. -- Denny Hamlin completed the Pocono sweep on Sunday, blowing away the field for an easy second victory that pushed the rookie into championship contention.

While Hamlin was cruising around Pocono Raceway, teammate Tony Stewart nearly self-destructed and Dale Earnhardt Jr. took another hit in his pursuit of the Nextel Cup title.

Stewart, the two-time and defending Nextel Cup champion, was black-flagged early in the race for intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer. Stewart had been pushed up the track and against the wall by Bowyer and angrily waved his hand out the window as the cars separated.

He then swerved directly into the side of Bowyer's car, sending it into a spin that collected Carl Edwards. NASCAR flagged Stewart for aggressive driving and pulled him into the pits for a one-lap penalty that dropped him to 41st.

Stewart still worked his way to a seventh place finish, good enough to move back into 10th in the Chase for the championship standings.

Earnhardt, meanwhile, is out of the top 10 after a hit from Dave Blaney sent him into the wall and out of the race. He finished 43rd for the second straight week.

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