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FYI WIRZ: NASCAR's Top Pocono Drivers Talk Before and After

Dwight Drum@@racetakeCorrespondent IIIAugust 2, 2010

The long, two-and-a-half mile Pocono Raceway track at Long Pond, Pa. hosted a very long Sunday NASCAR event, and this time it wasn’t by design. Nothing about it was short except the excitement at the very end.

At the “tricky track,” it seemed like the red flag waved more than the yellow flag with crashes and weather interruptions. It looked also like the rain was going to win again at Pocono. 

Jeff Gordon had the car to beat again, but a four-tire pit stop instead of two likely cost him a victory. Gordon’s drought continues, but Greg Biffle’s nearly two-year race drought ended.

The rain cleared to end Biffle’s drought. Many might see a bit of irony in that.

Ford engines and team effort put two Roush Racing drivers in the top five. Chevy technology put two there as well. Toyota slipped this week in the top series by placing only one driver in the top five. 

Explore the telling words of the top-five finishers before the green flag and after the checkers at the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500, race 21 of 36, in the lengthy ferocious NASCAR season: Biffle’s pre-race words are prophetic as are others.

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Greg Biffle, No. 16 Ford, Finished First

Before

“I am very excited to be going back to Pocono with the car we finished third with at Indy,” Biffle said. “We have run very well the last two races. I’m ready to go to Pocono and Michigan to try to get the win that we’ve been working for. I just can’t say enough about how well our cars and our engines are performing right now. We just need to get that win.”

After

“I'm not superstitious, but this has happened to me I don't know how many times,” Biffle said. “I'm sitting there in fourth and I'm going, starting to rain. I see the  [No.] 5 car a few spots back, the [No.] 33. I'm like, man, I hope this thing rains out. Get a good top five and get out of here.

“Then we have a pit stop. Get ready to go green, it stops. We're sitting there. This wouldn't be bad if I ended up second. So then off we go again. I thought it was over a few times, to be honest.

“I give 110 percent all the time; I never give up. No matter how grim the outcome can be, I'll still be digging no matter what. That's what I did today. I just kept after it in the race car, took every advantage that I could get.”

Tony Stewart, No. 14 Chevy, Finished Second

Before

“The thing is you can’t predict who is going to be good each week,” Stewart said. “This sport is more competitive than it’s ever been as far as competition and organizations that are competitive. It’s a cool time to be a driver in this series for sure.”

After

“Definitely happy with the outcome, for sure,” Stewart said. “Just was a matter of figuring out what the pit strategy was going to be at the end. It always comes down to strategy of fuel or weather, it seems like here, which isn't exactly the way you want to have to run a race. It's part of it and it's made for some exciting finishes because of that.”

Carl Edwards, No. 99 Ford, Finished Third

Before

“We are coming off a very strong race in Indy and our best of the year as a team,” Edwards said. “This holds well for us going into Pocono. I have a lot of confidence going to a similar track and we are carrying lots of momentum.”

After

“I feel like we're building a little bit of momentum towards the Chase,” Edwards said. “That's what we need. We haven't run the way we've run the last month for a long time.”

Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Chevy, Finished Fourth

Before

“I enjoy driving the track, ”Harvick said. “It's fun to try to get your car set up just because the corners are so different and you have some bumps and things to make everything mean something, so it's not like Indy last week where everything is dead smooth. We're going to have some character in the racetrack to work on this week."

After

“It was a long day, a good race and we'll go on to the next one,” Harvick said. “It's been a great year. We keep knocking top fives off and that's what we've got to keep doing in the Chase."

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota, Finished Fifth

Before

“I’d like to be part of the names that win in all three top series,” Hamlin said. “I think Pocono is a good opportunity to maybe get that done.”

After

“I told my spotter to stay on his toes because you know how these last few restarts usually are at Pocono,” Hamlin said. “It’s a typical Pocono today; everyone kept it clean at the end. It just worked against our strategy.”

FYI WIRZ is the swift presentation of pertinent motorsports topics compiled, condensed, and often written by Dwight Drum @ Racetake.com.

Photo credit: Dwight Drum @ Racetake.com

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