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NASCAR at Pocono results: Denny Hamlin beats setting sun, Pocono 350 field with expert strategy

Sporting News — (Dan Bernstein)

Denny Hamlin's crew pulled off a masterful final pit stop to find clear air, put rival Kevin Harvick in his rearview mirror and defeat a setting sun that threatened to end Sunday's Pocono 350 early.

Rain and lightning forced several delays in Stage 1, and because Pocono Raceway doesn't have lights, threatened to shut down the track before the full 140 laps could be completed. No accidents or delays over the final 55 laps ensured a complete race.

Harvick finished second and was followed by Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Aric Almirola.

Kyle Busch crashed out of the race in the early going following a strong start.

MORE: Facts of Bubba Wallace noose case show it wasn't a hoax

Full race results, details from NASCAR at Pocono

Top 20 finishers

Pos.Driver
1Denny Hamlin
2Kevin Harvick
3Erik Jones
4Chase Elliott
5Aric Almirola
6Matt DiBenedetto
7William Byron
8Clint Bowyer
9Alex Bowman
10Martin Truex Jr.
11Brad Keselowski
12Matt Kenseth
13Kurt Busch
14Austin Dillon
15Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
16Jimmie Johnson
17Cole Custer
18Ryan Newman
19John Hunter Nemechek
20Bubba Wallace

Leaders: 8
Lead changes: 11
Cautions: 8

Sporting News tracked live race updates and lap-by-lap highlights from Sunday's NASCAR race at Pocono. Follow below to see how Hamlin won the competition:

Race highlights from NASCAR at Pocono

8:43 p.m.: Denny Hamlin wins the Pocono 350.

8:40 p.m.: Sunset is here and it won't matter barring an unexpected caution. There have been no stoppages since Stage 2.

8:37 p.m.: Five more laps to go. Hamlin is cruising. Behind him is Harvick, Keselowski, Jones and Elliott, in that order.

8:32 p.m.: It's Hamlin's race to lose. Can he hold on?

8:30 p.m.: Truex Jr. pits and Hamlin takes command. He expects to win.

8:27 p.m.: This race is getting tense down the stretch.

8:21 p.m.: They're still going with 25 more laps to reach the full 140. Even one caution could lead to an early ending on account of darkness. Top three right now: Hamlin, Almirola, Truex Jr.

8:11 p.m.: Drivers might not be able to see very well soon.

8:03 p.m.: As drivers prepare to finish an abridged race due to the setting sun, Kevin Harvick takes his first lead of the competition.

7:49 p.m.: Brad Keselowski wins Stage 2.

7:42 p.m.: Now Ryan Preece crashes. Bubba Wallace somehow avoided trouble in the aftermath.

7:34 p.m.: Big wreck involving Kyle Busch.

7:30 p.m.: The race will count even if it isn't completed, as drivers have passed the halfway point.

7:26 p.m.: There are still 18 laps remaining in Stage 2. Denny Hamlin is running in first now.

7:17 p.m.: Kyle Busch passes Blaney at the front of the pack with 27 of 55 Stage 2 laps complete.

7:09 p.m.: This could be a losing battle for NASCAR.

7:02 p.m.: Just after the green flag comes out, there's another crash and another caution. This time Chris Buescher crashes.

6:50 p.m.: Caution for Bell spinning into the wall.

6:48 p.m.: Ryan Blaney moves into the lead.

6:36 p.m.: Kurt Busch wins Stage 1. He's followed by Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell.

6:31 p.m.: Kurt Busch leads with five laps remaining in a discombobulated Stage 1.

6:25 p.m.: Back to green.

6:19 p.m.: Caution. Quick crash involving Michael McDowell.

6:15 p.m.: OK, finally a green flag. Let's hope it lasts.

6:08 p.m.: This is the worst.

6:01 p.m.: For the third time this afternoon, engines are fired.

5:52 p.m.: Looks like NASCAR is going to give this another try.

5:30 p.m.: Uh oh.

5:05 p.m.: After just three laps, the caution flag is out for rain. Red follows soon after. Kurt Busch held the early lead before action was halted.

5:01 p.m.: Green flag is out! But rain in the area means we might have another stoppage soon.

4:52 p.m.: The latest on the weather.

4:20 p.m.: Lightning strikes in the distance and we have a 30 minute delay (at least).

4:15 p.m.: Engines fired.

4:13 p.m.: Here's the instrumental national anthem.

4 p.m.: TV coverage ahead of the race starts now. The race itself should be here soon.

3:41 p.m.: Hopefully there won't be any interruptions this afternoon. We're about 20 minutes away from the start of intro proceedings.

What time does the NASCAR race start today?

The green flag for Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono will wave shortly after 4 p.m. ET, about 30 minutes later than the start time for Saturday's first leg of the doubleheader.

While the dates for both Pocono races in the Saturday-Sunday doubleheader remain unchanged from NASCAR's original 2020 schedule despite the coronavirus shake-up, the start times are a little later. The pair of races originally were scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. ET, respectively, rather than 3:30 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET.

Those later start times are notable, because Pocono Raceway does not have lights in the event Sunday's race is delayed by weather.

NASCAR starting lineup at Pocono

Below is the starting lineup for Sunday's race at Pocono based on Saturday's results:

Pos.Driver
1.Ryan Preece
2.Austin Dillon
3.Kurt Busch
4.Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
5.Cole Custer
6.Ryan Newman
7.William Byron
8.Matt DiBenedetto
9.Ryan Blaney
10.Matt Kenseth
11.Chris Buescher
12.Brad Keselowski
13.Michael McDowell
14.Clint Bowyer
15.Martin Truex Jr.
16.Kyle Busch
17.Christopher Bell
18.Aric Almirola
19.Denny Hamlin
20.Kevin Harvick
21.Jimmie Johnson
22.Bubba Wallace
23.Corey LaJoie
24.John Hunter Nemechek
25.Chase Elliott
26.Ty Dillon
27.Alex Bowman
28.Daniel Suarez
29.Brennan Poole
30.Tyler Reddick
31.JJ Yeley
32.Josh Bilicki
33.Garrett Smithley
34.James Davison
35.Timmy Hill
36.Joey Logano
37.Joey Gase
38.Erik Jones
39.BJ McLeod
40.Quin Houff