NASCAR at Pocono 2014 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights and Recap

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NASCAR at Pocono 2014 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights and Recap
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Same track, same result for Dale Earnhardt Jr. The Hendrick Motorsports driver returned to Pocono to win his second consecutive race at the track and his third of the season overall.   

The No. 88 car was in contention throughout the day, but late strategy led to Earnhardt pushing himself to first in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings. Junior held off Kevin Harvick in the final laps to became just the third driver to win three races on the season.

Though he had never won a race at the track before the 2014 season, Earnhardt now has the season sweep at the Tricky Triangle.

It was a sweep for Hendrick as well. The team now has another milestone to add to the long list of achievements, as Jim Utter of The Charlotte Observer notes:

Earnhardt picked up his first victory at Pocono after Brad Keselowski had issues with debris. But on Sunday, the No. 88 car dominated the end of the race. Earnhardt spoke about the win, per Bob Pockrass of Sporting News:

With the win, Junior has now won at least three races in a season for the third time in his career. He's still three wins off his pace of six in 2004, but he's showing signs of that kind of dominance. 

Jeff Gluck of USA Today provides some background on just how great the season has been for Junior:

Just behind Harvick, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five. While Harvick and Logano didn't win the race, they still have a spot secured for the Chase at the end of the regular season unlike Bowyer and Biffle.

Here's a look at the full results and standings following the GoBowling.com 400:

Pocono Results
Pos. Driver Laps Led
1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 14
2 Kevin Harvick 5
3 Joey Logano 30
4 Clint Bowyer 0
5 Greg Biffle 11
6 Jeff Gordon 63
7 Jamie McMurray 0
8 Ryan Newman 0
9 Denny Hamlin 0
10 Kasey Kahne 0
11 Kyle Larson 1
12 Casey Mears 0
13 Kurt Busch 30
14 Marcos Ambrose 0
15 Austin Dillon 0
16 Justin Allgaier 0
17 David Gilliland 1
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0
19 David Ragan 0
20 Ryan Truex 0

NASCAR.com

Full results can be found at NASCAR.com.

2014 Sprint Cup Chase Grid
Pos. Driver Points Wins Top 5 Top 10
1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 740 3 10 15
2 Brad Keselowski 687 3 9 10
3 Jimmie Johnson 633 3 6 12
4 Jeff Gordon 757 2 7 15
5 Joey Logano 633 2 8 11
6 Carl Edwards 618 2 4 8
7 Kevin Harvick 608 2 6 10
8 Kyle Busch 611 1 6 9
9 Denny Hamlin 532 1 5 9
10 Aric Almirola 506 1 2 4
11 Kurt Busch 488 1 4 4
12 Matt Kenseth 668 0 8 13
13 Ryan Newman 642 0 2 8
14 Clint Bowyer 617 0 3 9
15 Kyle Larson 595 0 4 9
16 Greg Biffle 590 0 3 6

NASCAR.com

2014 Sprint Cup Standings
Pos. Driver Points
1 Jeff Gordon 757
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 740
3 Brad Keselowski 687
4 Matt Kenseth 668
5 Ryan Newman 642
T6 Jimmie Johnson 633
T6 Joey Logano 633
8 Carl Edwards 618
9 Clint Bowyer 617
10 Kyle Busch 611

NASCAR.com

An eventful afternoon in Pocono started with rookie Kyle Larson atop the leaderboard after winning his first Sprint Cup pole. The 22-year-old finished 11th. 

Larson may be a rising star in the Sprint Cup Series, but one driver who has been atop the points for much of the year made more history on Sunday. After collecting a win at the Brickyard last weekend, Jeff Gordon reached another milestone at Pocono, per NASCAR:

Gordon ran near the front of the pack on Sunday and put together yet another strong performance. The Hendrick representative has proved all season he's still a dominant driver and looks like a contender for the Sprint Cup title.

Though there were some promising results from both Larson and Gordon, there were plenty of drivers who fell on hard times at Pocono.

The biggest pileup on the day came late in the race, halting several contenders. Denny Hamlin got loose on Turn 1 and caused several of the drivers behind him to wreck, as NASCAR Stats mentions:

One of those drivers involved in the accident was Matt Kenseth, who hasn't won a race to this point in the season. Joe Gibbs Racing provides a look at the carnage from the wreck:

Following the Pocono event, just five races remain before the start of the new Chase format. Several notable drivers are still searching for an important win heading to Watkins Glen as the season winds down.

Tony Stewart and Marcos Ambrose have pulled out victories at Watkins Glen in the past and will need another to secure a spot in the Chase.

With the points race tightening up, those drivers and several others will need a good showing next week. As for Junior, the Chase Grid leader looks like a contender for the points championship moving forward.

 

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