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Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: Pocono

Hendrick Motorsports | Race Preview Published 6/4/2013
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EVENT: Party in the Poconos 400
TRACK: Pocono Raceway
LENGTH: 2.5-mile tri-oval
TV: TNT (Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET)
RADIO: MRN (Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET)

News & Notes

POINTS AFTER DOVER: After finishing 10th last week at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains sixth in the championship standings. The driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS trails leader Jimmie Johnson by 75 points.

2013 STATISTICS: After 13 races in the 2013 season, Earnhardt has earned three top-five finishes and eight top-10s. His eight top-10 results rank him tied for first overall with Johnson and Brad Keselowski.

AT POCONO: In 26 Sprint Cup starts at Pocono Raceway, Earnhardt has recorded one pole position, five top-five finishes and nine top-10s. He has completed 96.9 percent of all the laps he's attempted (4,796 laps of 4,947 total). The 38-year-old driver led laps in both Pocono races in 2012 and has led a total of 151 laps at the 2.5-mile track.

POCONO POLE POSITION: Earnhardt earned his Sprint Cup pole position at Pocono in August 2007, and he went on to lead eight laps and finish second in that race. The runner-up effort matched his best performance at the Long Pond, Pa., track. Earnhardt also finished second there on July 29, 2001, after leading 31 laps.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-798. This is a new chassis that has not been raced.

PENNSYLVANIA NATIVES: Two members of the No. 88 team consider the Keystone State home. Spotter T.J. Majors hails from Wampum, where he grew up racing dirt tracks in western Pennsylvania and in 2003 was named the Goody's Dash Series Rookie of the Year. Shock specialist Jason Seitzinger is a native of Shartlesville.

PEPSI’S HEADQUATERS: PepsiCo's Purchase, N.Y., headquarters is located 125 miles east of Pocono Raceway. The company, which sponsors Earnhardt's car with its Diet Mountain Dew and AMP Energy brands, has been located in Purchase since 1970.

HENDRICK AT POCONO: Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest organization at Pocono with 13 Cup victories. In 58 Cup races (189 starts) at the 2.5-mile racetrack, Hendrick Motorsports has gathered 55 top-five finishes and 98 top-10s. Jeff Gordon most recently went to Victory Lane for Hendrick Motorsports at the Tricky Triangle in August 2012. With six victories, Gordon is ranked first among drivers all-time at the Tricky Triangle. Gordon’s 965 laps led are the most among drivers all-time at Pocono.

SEASON-TO-DATE: In the first 13 Cup races of the season, Hendrick Motorsports drivers have tallied three victories (Johnson with two and Kasey Kahne with one) and six runner-up results (Kahne has three, Earnhardt has two and Johnson has one). The Hendrick Motorsports teammates rank inside the top 11 in the driver standings. Johnson is first, followed by sixth-place Earnhardt, seventh-place Kahne and 11th-place Gordon.

Quotes

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (ON POCONO RACEWAY.): “We are looking forward to getting back to Pocono and getting on the track and practicing. I’m looking forward to seeing where our speed is at compared to last year. We had a pretty good car, and I felt like we had a real fast car for both races. I’m just ready to see what we’ve got. It should be a good weekend.”

Standings
After Brickyard 400
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Jeff Gordon 717 0
2 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 693 -24
3 -- Brad Keselowski 666 -51
4 -- Matt Kenseth 661 -56
5 -- Jimmie Johnson 628 -89
6 +2 Kyle Busch 609 -108
7 -- Ryan Newman 606 -111
8 -2 Carl Edwards 603 -114
9 -- Joey Logano 591 -126
10 -- Clint Bowyer 577 -140
11 +1 Denny Hamlin 572 -145
12 +1 Kevin Harvick 565 -152
Full Standings