Week 23 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings: Hamlin Wins at Pocono, MTJ holds P1

Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle
3 min readJul 26, 2023

23 July 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

LONG POND, PA — Denny Hamlin wins the NASCAR Cup Series HighPoint.com 400 at the “Tricky Triangle” as the caution flag flew during the final lap. It was the 50th career win for Hamlin, and the 7th here at the Pocono Raceway. Fans are buzzing about many elements of the final laps that saw Hamlin run Kyle Larson tight (video appears to show contact) that ended with Larson bouncing off the wall in turn 1 following a restart at 8 to go. Then a spin by the 41 car at 2 laps to go, the white flag, and then the caution half way through the final lap when the 41 car could not move off the racing line. Hamlin was declared the winner and the boo birds came out in force as Hamlin exited his car at the Start/Finish line.

Restart at 8 laps to go - Hamlin drifted high on corner exit, forcing Larson wide — with apparent slight door-to-door contact — resulting in Larson being pushed into the outside SAFER barrier on the Long Pond Straightaway. (Image nascar.com)

All Toyota Podium and Another Rough Day for Ford
For Toyota, Hamlin wins, 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick was 2nd, and Martin Truex Jr was 3rd and Toyota also had Ty Gibbs finish 5th and C. Bell 6th. A dominant performance. On the flip side, Joey Logano had his №22 Ford Mustang up front early in the race, but ultimately finished 35th after a crash on a restart. Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski were also up front throughout the HighPoint.com 400. Harvick finished a solid 4th but the drought for the Ford teams continues. The GFT NASCAR Manufacturers Wins Box Score after Pocono is now: Chevrolet = 14, Toyota = 8, Ford = 4

Week 23 NASCAR GFT Top 25 AI Driver Rankings following the HighPoint.com at Pocono Raceway on July 23, 2023 (Image: GFT Digital / gofullthrottle.net)

With the win, Denny Hamlin moves up 2 spots to P3. Reddick moves up to P2, AJ Allmendinger moves up to P17- just outside the playoff cut line, and Chase Elliott moves up two spots to P21. Kyle Bush and Kyle Larson both lose a spot, falling to P4 and P5 respectively.

Denny Hamlin celebrates in Victory Lane following his HighPoint.com 400 win at Pocono Raceway. (Image Credit: Alex Daus, NASCAR Studios)
The NASCAR Cup Series field prepares to come to the green flag for the HighPoint.com 400 at Pocono Raceway. (Image Credit: Sean Gardner | Getty Images)
GFT NASCAR Manufacturers Box Score after Week 23 HighPoint.com 400 at Pocono Raceway



Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association