HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS DOMINATES AT POCONO

Keselowski Stays in the Chase Hunt

Brad Keselowski’s sixth-place finish at Pocono was only his third top-10 finish since late April, but he remains in the cluttered race for a spot in the Chase. Keselowski, 12th in points, knows that the challenge of just getting into the Chase to defend his Sprint Cup Series championship will be difficult (photo courtesy: Elsa, GETTY IMAGES SPORT)

Kasey Kahne continued Hendrick Motorsports’ mastery of Pocono, charging past race leader and teammate Jeff Gordon after the final restart to claim his second victory of the season. Gordon, seeking to end a 20-race winless skid on his 42nd birthday, managed to take the lead from Kahne on the previous restart just eight laps from the finish. 

But when the day’s last caution flag was displayed for Matt Kenseth’s crash, it gave Kahne another shot and he took full advantage of it – storming past Gordon with a bold outside move through the track’s “Tunnel Turn” and driving away for his 16th career win. 

“We about gave it away when Jeff got by me," Kahne said. “I had one opportunity and it was either go for it and make it work or not. As good a car as we had all day, I thought we could make that work on the outside."

Kurt Busch – also celebrating a birthday on Sunday – placed third.  Busch is very much alive in the hunt for the Chase and sits in 13th place in the point standings with five races until the cut-off.

“This was a phenomenal run today to execute and learn from what we did here in June, to post a Top 3, and to run with the guys that we have to run with to make it in the Chase.” Busch said.

After starting on the pole, and leading 43 laps, Jimmie Johnson cut a right-front tire at the mid-way point, but consistent repairs by the pit crew enabled him to rally back for an impressive 13th place finish – extending his points lead to 77 over Clint Bowyer with five races remaining in the regular season.

Just five races remain before the post-season Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup begins. The Chase will consist of the Top 10 drivers in points plus the two drivers from 11th to 20th with the most wins after Race 26. The Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup will culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 17.

Kahne led a race-high sixty-six laps in posting his second win of the year, to go with a short-track victory in March at Bristol.  His second win gives Kahne the inside track on a Wild Card spot in the post-season Chase should he falls outside the top ten.

With their 1-2 finish today, both Gordon and Kahne moved up one position in the point standings, to eighth and ninth respectively. The Chase will consist of the Top 10 drivers in points plus the two drivers from 11th to 20th with the most wins after Race 26. The Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup will culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 17.

Last week’s winner Ryan Newman was in the thick of things for much of the race and brought home his second straight top five with a fourth place finish at Pocono. With the finish, he moves to within nine markers of the final Chase “Wild Card” position.
 
Newman was told three weeks ago that he won’t return to Stewart-Haas Racing next season. Back-to-back top five finishes could make Newman awfully attractive to prospective teams and sponsors.

“Jeff (Gordon) was really close there and he’s fighting for his Wild Card spot,” Newman said. “We have a win and we are fighting for a top 10 Wild Card spot, but none-the-less it was a good effort.”

Brad Keselowski’s sixth-place finish at Pocono was only his third top-10 finish since late April, but he remains in the cluttered race for a spot in the Chase.

The reigning champ is 12th in the standings - one of five drivers within 18 points of ninth-place Jeff Gordon.  Five races remain until the Chase field is set.  Only once since the Chase debuted in 2004 has a defending champion failed to make it.

"My biggest thing is I know when we get to Chicago we’re going to have some of the best cars, and this team will be ready and prepared to put on a Chase just like we did last season," Keselowski said, referring to the first race of the Chase.

Next up for the Sprint Cup drivers is Watkins Glen on Sunday, August 11 (1 p.m. EDT, MRN Radio, ESPN, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90)—Race 22 of 36 en route to Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 15-17). The Chase will consist of the Top 10 drivers in points plus the two drivers from 11th to 20th with the most wins after Race 26. The Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup will culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 17.

  • Baptist Health
  • Bucked Up
  • Budweiser
  • Coca-Cola
  • Contender
  • Courtyard Marriott
  • EPIC Hotel
  • Florida Lottery
  • Floridian Logo
  • Ford
  • Gatorade
  • GEICO
  • GEN Travel Solutions
  • Goodyear
  • Hampton Inn and Suites
  • Miller Industries
  • New Holland
  • NextEra
  • Quality Inn
  • Safety Kleen
  • Smokin J's
  • Sprint
  • Sunoco
  • Ticket clinic
  • Tobacco Free Florida
  • Visit Florida
  • We Can Do Print

© 2014 Homestead Miami Speedway

FacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnorati

ISC Track Sites