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Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: Pocono

Hendrick Motorsports | Race Preview Published 6/4/2014
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EVENT: Pocono 400
DATE: Sunday, June 8, 2014
TRACK: Pocono Raceway
LENGTH: 2.5-mile tri-oval
TV: TNT (Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET)
RADIO: MRN (Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET)

News & Notes

POINTS AFTER DOVER: After finishing ninth last week at Dover International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is fifth in the championship standings. The driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS trails leader Matt Kenseth by 34 points.

2014 STATISTICS: After 13 races in the 2014 season, Earnhardt has earned one win, six top-five finishes and eight top-10s. His six top-five results rank him tied for first overall with Joey Logano.

AT POCONO: In 28 Sprint Cup starts at Pocono Raceway, Earnhardt has recorded one pole position, seven top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. He has completed 97.1 percent of all the laps he's attempted (5,116 laps of 5,267 total) and has led a total of 153 laps at the 2.5-mile track. In 2013, the 39-year-old driver had a fourth-place average finish at "The Tricky Triangle".

POCONO POLE POSITION: Earnhardt earned his Sprint Cup pole position at Pocono in August 2007 and went on to lead eight laps there for a second-place finish, matching his best performance at the Pennsylvania track. Earnhardt also recorded a runner-up finish at Pocono on July 29, 2001, after leading for 31 laps at the 2.5-mile triangle.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-810. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a 12th-place finish at Fontana, California.

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

PEPSI’S HEADQUATERS: PepsiCo's Purchase, New York, 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: In 197 starts at Pocono Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports has 15 wins, 60 top-five finishes and 103 top-10s. The organization’s 15 wins are the most among competitors in the Sprint Cup Series, with Jeff Gordon leading the team and series in Pocono victories (six). Hendrick Motorsports swept Pocono last season, winning both the pole and the race at the June and August events. Kasey Kahne most recently took the checkered flag there in August 2013, after teammate Jimmie Johnson won the pole position at the Pennsylvania track. Prior to that, Johnson started from the pole position and led 128 laps en route to his third career victory at the 2.5-mile triangle in June 2013.

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