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Aug 05, 2014 - 07:18 AM
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· 2014 Pocono II: NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Results - Earnhardt Jr, Chevrolet Win! (Aug 3, 2014)
· 2014 Mid-Ohio: IndyCar Starting Line-up & Race Preview (Aug 3, 2014)
· 2014 Pocono II: NASCAR Sprint Cup Starting Line-up & Race Preview (Aug 3, 2014)
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2014 Pocono II: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recap
Posted by: ASkyler on Aug 05, 2014 - 07:13 AM
2014 Pocono II: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recap

On the final restart with only three laps remaining, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took the lead in his No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS to win the GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and complete a season sweep at Pocono Raceway.

This was Earnhardt’s third victory of 2014 and 22nd career trip to Victory Lane. The win marked the fifth consecutive victory at Pocono for Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports. It was the first time a driver has swept at Pocono since Denny Hamlin’s pair of wins in 2006. This is also the second time in Earnhardt, Jr.’s career to complete a season track sweep and first since 2002 at Talladega Superspeedway.


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Earnhardt was able to hold off a hard-charging Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Mobil 1 Chevy SS. Harvick rebounded from a midrace speeding penalty and a multi-car crash to finish second, giving Chevrolet a 1-2 finish at the ‘Tricky Triangle’. Harvick’s runner-up performance also secured him a berth in the final 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

"They (Kevin Harvick) were faster than my car," said Earnhardt Jr. in Victory Lane. "I was over-driving it; not rolling the center very good and Kevin was getting me in between turns one and two. I couldn’t back-it-down, and I was just way over-driving the car. I could get him through the tunnel in (Turn) three and I was fine, but man he could come through (Turns) one and two, and I wasn’t driving the car right. We had a fast car all day.

"Steve’s (Letarte, crew chief) strategy was perfect at the end," Earnhardt, Jr. continued. "I don’t know if anybody knew what was going on but that was pretty awesome. It takes a really, really smart guy to understand what to do to take those gambles. Sometimes they pay off and sometimes they don’t. I can’t believe we swept Pocono. We definitely went home from the last race and made our car better. So, that is what I am proudest of this team for. They went back and didn’t sit on what we had, they wanted to get better, faster car so we didn’t have to rely on luck to win."

Jeff Gordon, who led a race-high 63 of the 160-lap race in his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished sixth, and also reached two laps-led milestones: 24,000 career laps led in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition and 1,000 laps led at Pocono Raceway.

Jamie McMurray was seventh in the No. 1 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet SS, Ryan Newman was eighth in the No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevy SS, and Kasey Kahne finished 10th in his No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS. To complete a strong contingent of six Chevrolet SS race cars finishing in the top 10.

Rounding out the top five finishing positions were Joey Logano (Ford) in third, Clint Bowyer (Toyota) in fourth, and Greg Biffle (Ford) in fifth.

The series moves next to New York for road course racing at Watkins Glen International on August 10th.

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