Earnhardt Jr steals Pocono win

June 8, 2014 No Comments

Jr PoconoBrian Wiggins, Senior Writer 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn’t have the best car at Pocono Raceway on Sunday. He didn’t start on the pole, he didn’t lead the most laps, either.

But, when the pay window opened, Eanhardt Jr. was the one to capitalize.

After starting on the pole, Brad Keselowski dominated the afternoon in the Pocono 400. Leading the race for 95 of the 160 laps, Keselowski was in perfect position to take his second checkered flag of 2014 with less than ten laps to go.

That was until a piece of debris landed on the grille of his Team Penske Ford, causing his engine temperatures to sky-rocket.

Keselowski wanted that debris off his car, so as he ran-up on the lapped-car of Danica Patrick, he tried to change the airflow on the front of his car, hopefully taking the debris from his grille.

“I had to do something, it was blowing up,” Keselowski said. “I tried to make a move and get behind [Patrick] and use the air to pull the debris off and when she got in the corner, she got loose and I chased her up there and I lost too much momentum.

“I should have just passed her, but I had to do something…the car wasn’t going to make it.”

It didn’t work and Earnhardt Jr. bypassed him for the lead.

Despite numerous challenges in the closing laps from Keselowski, Earnhardt Jr. was able to hold him off for the win in the Pocono 400.

“[Brad Keselowski] had me beat, I couldn’t get to him,” Earnhardt Jr. said in victory lane. “I’ve lost some in some strange ways, so it feels good to win one like that.”

Sunday’s win was the second of the 2014 season for Earnhardt Jr., the twenty-first of his Sprint Cup career, and his first career win twenty-nine starts at Pocono Raceway.

It’s also the first time Earnhardt Jr. has recorded multiple wins in a season since 2004 when he scored a career-high six victories.

“We were there all day, running great. We had a fast car, just didn’t really get that track position until the end,” Earnhardt Jr. continued.

“I’ve never won here, I’ve never been [in victory lane] here. This is amazing.”

With the win, Eanhardt Jr. locks himself into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, vaulting to the top of the Chase Grid in the process.

Earnhardt Jr.’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon, leads the overall point standings.

Next up for the Sprint Cup Series is the two-mile oval of Michigan (Brooklyn) International Speedway on Sunday, June 15.

Pocono 400 Unofficial Race Results 

1: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2: Brad Keselowski

3: Kurt Busch

4: Denny Hamlin

5: Kyle Larson

6: Jimmie Johnson

7: Ryan Newman

8: Jeff Gordon

9: Martin Truex Jr.

10: Jamie McMurray

11: Clint Bowyer

12: Kyle Busch

13: Tony Stewart

14: Kevin Harvick

15: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

16: Greg Biffle

17: Austin Dillon

18: David Reagan

19: Brian Vickers

20: Michael Annett

21: AJ Allmendinger

22: Aric Almirola

23: Casey Mears

24: Marcos Ambrose

25: Matt Kenseth

26: Paul Menard

27: Justin Allgaier

28: David Gilliand

29: Travis Kvapil

30: Cole Whitt

31: Alex Bowman

32: Ryan Truex

33: Landon Cassill

34: Reed Sorenson

35: Josh Wise

36: Timmy Hill

37: Danica Patrick

38: JJ Yeley

39: Alex Kennedy

40: Joey Logano

41: Carl Edwards

42: Kasey Kahne

43: Dave Blaney

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