This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Denny Hamlin managed fuel effectively to consolidate his position out front and take his fifth checkered flag at Pocono Raceway. The fuel-mileage race wasn't an easy one as he had to overcome two late restarts and extra laps in what was already a tight margin. Passes on teammate Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones put him out front and he was able to manage the gap through the restarts all the way to the finish for his third race win of the season. Five races remain before the elimination rounds begin the countdown to the championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, and his win on Sunday was the 11th for Joe Gibbs Racing this season.
The series goes road course racing again this week at Watkins Glen International. The race was one of two road course races remaining this season, while one more road course race at the Charlotte oval looms in the playoffs. Chase Elliott grabbed his first career win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series there last season in an impressive drive. The remaining playoff hopefuls have just five more chances to win their way into the festivities.
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin won his 34th career win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series with an overtime run to the finish on a light fuel load. It was his third win of the season and his fifth at Pocono. He was able to pass two of his teammates on the final run to get out