NASCAR

NASCAR at Pocono 2014: Race Schedule, Live Stream Info and Drivers to Watch

Jun 7, 2014; Long Pond, PA, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski (2) during practice for the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJune 8, 2014

On Sunday, Jimmie Johnson will be looking for his third straight win and to potentially climb into the No. 1 spot in the Sprint Cup standings.

After wins at Charlotte and last week at Dover, Johnson is fourth in the standings, just 27 points behind new leader Matt Kenseth. When the six-time champion is gaining, the leader can't be too relaxed.

Will Johnson keep his streak going, or will another driver step up to take the checkered flag at Pocono Raceway? 

Denny Hamlin has thrown down the gauntlet with a record-setting performance during the final qualifying run. His 181.415 mph speed made him look like the favorite.

Here's the information you need to watch or listen to the race.

 

Where: Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania

When: Sunday, June 8 at 1 p.m. ET

Watch: TNT

Live Stream: TNTDrama.com

Radio: Motor Racing Network

 

Here's a look at the lineup, per NASCAR.com

Pocono 400 Starting Grid
Starting PositionDriverCar No.
1Denny Hamlin11
2Kurt Busch41
3Brad Keselowski2
4Kevin Harvick4
5Jeff Gordon24
6Kyle Busch18
7Joey Logano22
8Dale Earnhardt Jr.88
9Brian Vickers55
10Carl Edwards99
11Austin Dillon3
12Tony Stewart14
13Greg Biffle16
14Kyle Larson42
15Ryan Newman31
16Danica Patrick10
17Martin Truex Jr.78
18Jamie McMurray1
19Clint Bowyer15
20Jimmie Johnson48
21A.J. Allmendinger47
22Aric Almirola43
23Paul Menard27
24Justin Allgaier51
25Casey Mears13
26Matt Kenseth20
27Kasey Kahne5
28Ricky Stenhouse Jr.17
29Marcos Ambrose9
30Michael Annett7
31Landon Cassill40
32David Ragan34
33Travis Kvapil32
34Alex Bowman23
35David Gilliland38
36Reed Sorenson36
37Josh Wise98
38J.J. Yeley44
39Timmy Hill66
40Cole Whitt26
41Ryan Truex83
42Alex Kennedy33
43Dave Blaney77

 

Which drivers should be on your radar on Sunday?

 

Jimmie Johnson

Jun 6, 2014; Long Pond, PA, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) during qualifying for the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Just pencil this name in for every race through the rest of the NASCAR season as a driver to watch.

Johnson did show himself to be human during the qualifying runs. He struggled during the second turn and took all the blame for the disappointing time and subsequent grid position.

Per Tom Jensen of Fox Sports, Johnson said:

The driver blew Turn 2. I just got too greedy down in (Turn) 2 and lost the nose in corner exit. I knew it killed the lap.  Sure enough when I came back around it was only good enough for 20th.  I feel bad for my guys, but this one is one me.

Though things don't look good for Johnson's chances of winning Sunday, you can never count him out. Who knows what happens in qualifying if he doesn't make the error on the second turn. We could be talking about him starting from the pole.

As it stands, with the 20th spot on the grid and because of how hard it is to pass on this race track, Johnson will be an underdog—at least for one race.

 

Matt Kenseth

Jun 7, 2014; Long Pond, PA, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth (20) sits in his car during practice for the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Despite the fact that he's still searching for his first win of the season, Kenseth overtook Jeff Gordon for the points lead in the standings last week.

His lead is a mere two points, so in order to maintain the advantage, he'll need a strong performance. With an emphasis now placed on wins in determining qualification for the Chase, Kenseth desperately wants to grab a checkered flag.

Per Mike Hembree of USA Today, Kenseth said:

You'd rather have a win. Being in the top 30 in points (a requirement for playoff qualification) really shouldn't be a problem, so, of course, you'd rather have a win at this time of year than be the points leader.

Things look even worse for Kenseth than they do for Johnson. He was just 26th in qualifying and had showings outside the top 20 on this track last year.

 

Denny Hamlin

Jun 6, 2014; Long Pond, PA, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) walks to the garage after winning the pole position during qualifying for the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

After capturing the pole position, Hamlin has to be the man on every driver's mind. He's captured the pole two other times at Pocono Raceway and won both of those races (2006).

B/R's Bob Margolis kept it simple when he talked about what Hamlin needs to do to win. Margolis said: "All the four-time Pocono winner needs to do is deliver 395 solid miles, and then drive five more like his hair is on fire."

Last season, Hamlin crashed early in one of the races at Pocono and finished 43rd in the other. If he is going to put last year's disastrous 2013 run behind him, he'll need to follow Margolis' advice—so to speak. 

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