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

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IAugust 3, 2014

LONG POND, PA - AUGUST 03:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
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.DriverLaps Led
1Dale Earnhardt Jr.14
2Kevin Harvick5
3Joey Logano30
4Clint Bowyer0
5Greg Biffle11
6Jeff Gordon63
7Jamie McMurray0
8Ryan Newman0
9Denny Hamlin0
10Kasey Kahne0
11Kyle Larson1
12Casey Mears0
13Kurt Busch30
14Marcos Ambrose0
15Austin Dillon0
16Justin Allgaier0
17David Gilliland1
18Ricky Stenhouse Jr.0
19David Ragan0
20Ryan Truex0
NASCAR.com

Full results can be found at NASCAR.com.

2014 Sprint Cup Chase Grid
Pos.DriverPointsWinsTop 5Top 10
1Dale Earnhardt Jr.74031015
2Brad Keselowski6873910
3Jimmie Johnson6333612
4Jeff Gordon7572715
5Joey Logano6332811
6Carl Edwards618248
7Kevin Harvick6082610
8Kyle Busch611169
9Denny Hamlin532159
10Aric Almirola506124
11Kurt Busch488144
12Matt Kenseth6680813
13Ryan Newman642028
14Clint Bowyer617039
15Kyle Larson595049
16Greg Biffle590036
NASCAR.com
2014 Sprint Cup Standings
Pos.DriverPoints
1Jeff Gordon757
2Dale Earnhardt Jr.740
3Brad Keselowski687
4Matt Kenseth668
5Ryan Newman642
T6Jimmie Johnson633
T6Joey Logano633
8Carl Edwards618
9Clint Bowyer617
10Kyle Busch611
NASCAR.com
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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.

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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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