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Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: Pocono

Hendrick Motorsports | Race Preview Published 7/31/2013
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EVENT: GoBowling.com 400
TRACK: Pocono Raceway
LENGTH: 2.5-mile tri-oval
TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 12 p.m. EST)
RADIO: MRN (Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. EST)

News & Notes

POINTS AFTER INDIANAPOLIS: After finishing sixth last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains fifth in the championship standings. The driver of the No. 88 National Guard Youth Foundation Chevrolet SS trails leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson by 124 points with six races remaining until the 12-car field is set for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

2013 STATISTICS: After 20 races in the 2013 season, Earnhardt has earned one pole position, four top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. His 11 top-10 results rank him tied for third overall.

AT POCONO: In 27 Sprint Cup starts at Pocono Raceway, Earnhardt has recorded one pole position, six top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He has completed 97 percent of all the laps he's attempted (4,956 laps of 5,107 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. Earnhardt has finished inside the top 10 in four of the last five races at Pocono.

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. Earnhardt first raced this chassis to a third-place finish at Pocono in June.

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 14 Cup victories. In 59 Cup races (193 starts) at the 2.5-mile racetrack, Hendrick Motorsports has gathered 57 top-five finishes and 100 top-10s. Johnson most recently won from the pole position at the Tricky Triangle in June 2013. With six victories, Jeff Gordon is ranked first among drivers all-time at Pocono. Gordon’s 965 laps led are the most among drivers all-time there.

SEASON-TO-DATE: In the first 20 Cup races of the season, Hendrick Motorsports drivers have tallied five victories (Johnson with four and Kasey Kahne with one) and eight runner-up results (Kahne has three, Earnhardt has two, Johnson has two and Gordon has one). The Hendrick Motorsports teammates rank inside the top 10 in the driver standings. Johnson is first, followed by fifth-place Earnhardt, ninth-place Kahne and 10th-place Gordon.

Quotes

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (ON POCONO RACEWAY.): “I am looking forward to getting back to Pocono. It’s become one of our best tracks. We had a good car there in June and had some pretty good speed. It should be a good weekend for the team.”

Standings
After Pure Michigan 400
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 +1 Jeff Gordon 816 0
2 -1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 813 -3
3 +1 Brad Keselowski 733 -83
4 +1 Joey Logano 714 -102
5 -2 Matt Kenseth 709 -107
6 +2 Kevin Harvick 687 -129
7 -- Jimmie Johnson 686 -130
8 -2 Carl Edwards 679 -137
9 -- Ryan Newman 679 -137
10 +1 Clint Bowyer 672 -144
11 +1 Greg Biffle 660 -156
12 +1 Kasey Kahne 651 -165
Full Standings