Earnhardt sweeps Pocono

Earnhardt gets doused with beer
Getty Images for NASCAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the final 14 laps and held off Kevin Harvick after a late restart to win the GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.

Earnhardt Jr. swept the two Sprint Cup races at Pocono this season. He became the third three-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series this season, joining Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski.

Earnhardt Jr. leads all Cup drivers with 10 top-five finishes in 2014.

Harvick placed second, followed by Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle. Points leader Jeff Gordon, who led a race-high 63 laps, finished sixth.

Kyle Busch ran into engine problems, ending his day early in 42nd place, and Jimmie Johnson also logged a DNF.

The race was also marred by a 13-car pileup in the late stages.

"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 Sprint Cup Series will be in New York next weekend for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen (Aug. 10, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Results

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE START LAPS LED STATUS
1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 9 160 14 Running
2 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 6 160 5 Running
3 22 Joey Logano Ford 2 160 30 Running
4 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 14 160 0 Running
5 16 Greg Biffle Ford 25 160 11 Running
6 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 5 160 63 Running
7 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 8 160 0 Running
8 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 21 160 0 Running
9 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 13 160 0 Running
10 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 12 160 0 Running
11 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 1 160 0 Running
12 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 24 160 0 Running
13 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 4 160 30 Running
14 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 27 160 0 Running
15 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 11 160 0 Running
16 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 22 160 0 Running
17 38 David Gilliland Ford 30 160 1 Running
18 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 23 159 0 Running
19 34 David Ragan Ford 39 159 0 Running
20 83 Ryan Truex Toyota 37 159 0 Running
21 26 Cole Whitt Toyota 33 159 0 Running
22 7 Michael Annett Chevrolet 38 159 0 Running
23 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 3 159 0 Running
24 98 Josh Wise Chevrolet 31 159 0 Running
25 32 Travis Kvapil Ford 34 158 0 Running
26 37 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 40 158 0 Running
27 36 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 35 158 0 Running
28 33 Alex Kennedy Chevrolet 42 158 0 Running
29 99 Carl Edwards Ford 26 157 0 Running
30 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 10 156 0 Running
31 23 Alex Bowman Toyota 36 154 0 Running
32 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 19 144 0 Running
33 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 29 143 0 Running
34 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 20 137 2 Accident
35 43 Aric Almirola Ford 28 125 1 Accident
36 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 16 124 0 Running
37 55 Brian Vickers Toyota 15 116 0 Accident
38 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 18 116 3 Accident
39 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 17 111 0 Accident
40 66 Joe Nemechek Toyota 41 88 0 Accident
41 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 32 28 0 Accident
42 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 7 23 0 Engine
43 93 Johnny Sauter Toyota 43 11 0 Electrical

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