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Denny Hamlin says it’s ‘a necessity’ to improve Pocono with traction compound next year

Denny Hamlin felt his team earned their fourth place finish at Pocono, even though he didn't have enough speed to protect a late lead.

LONG POND, Pa. – A leader of the NASCAR Drivers Council says it’s time for the longest test of the traction compound that has been sweeping the Cup Series this season.

After finishing fourth in Sunday’s Overton’s 400, Denny Hamlin said using the PJ1 substance is “a necessity, honestly” at Pocono Raceway, continuing a crusade he started on Twitter last week.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said Sunday that he recently had lobbied Pocono executives to use the compound.

“(They) said it’s definitely on the table when we come back,” Hamlin said. “I’d love to see it in the second to third lane, and you could see some amazing restarts and fun racing here once they do that.

The sticky substance, which is intended to add another lane of racing, has been used this season at Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Pocono’s 2.5-mile triangular layout would be the biggest track yet for its application.

“This is a one-lane racetrack,” said Hamlin, who led 18 laps Sunday before being passed by teammate and eventual race winner Kyle Busch with 16 laps remaining. “We’ve had great races in the sense of they’ve been close, but you need cautions here to fall and exciting restarts for there to be great and exciting racing. Side by side racing really doesn’t exist at this racetrack except for one lap after a restart.”

Hamlin has four wins at Pocono, most recently in June 2010.