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NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. pulls away late for 2nd win of season
NASCAR » Keselowski yields lead due to debris on his car, and Junior charges to win.
First Published Jun 08 2014 05:30 pm • Last Updated Jun 08 2014 10:19 pm

Long Pond, Pa. • Dale Earnhardt Jr. is having a blast again.

Winning races sure has a way of easing burdens on Junior.

At a glance

Pocono 400 results

At Pocono Raceway Pond, Pa. length: 2.5 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (8) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 160 laps, 120.9 rating, 47 points, $198,965.

2. (3) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 160, 143.3, 44, $213,783.

3. (2) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 160, 118.4, 42, $142,600.

4. (1) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 160, 107.2, 41, $137,500.

5. (14) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 160, 96, 40, $136,320.

6. (20) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 160, 97.8, 39, $150,851.

7. (15) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 160, 84.9, 37, $101,365.

8. (5) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 160, 114.8, 37, $132,251.

9. (17) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 160, 85.9, 35, $115,973.

10. (18) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 160, 81.5, 34, $121,029.

11. (19) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 160, 96.8, 33, $126,631.

12. (6) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 160, 86.6, 32, $129,481.

13. (12) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 160, 105.2, 32, $124,073.

14. (4) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 160, 110.4, 30, $119,523.

15. (28) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 160, 68, 29, $118,815.

16. (13) Greg Biffle, Ford, 160, 73.9, 28, $121,640.

17. (11) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 160, 73.7, 27, $125,601.

18. (32) David Ragan, Ford, 160, 55.8, 26, $106,523.

19. (9) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 160, 81.4, 26, $112,090.

20. (30) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 160, 58.6, 24, $97,048.

21. (21) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 160, 64.4, 23, $93,498.

22. (22) Aric Almirola, Ford, 160, 66.2, 22, $115,926.

23. (25) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 160, 60, 21, $98,298.

24. (29) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 160, 57.5, 20, $104,760.

25. (26) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 160, 52.6, 19, $124,826.

26. (23) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 160, 60.9, 18, $105,154.

27. (24) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 160, 65, 18, $95,312.

28. (35) David Gilliland, Ford, 160, 50.2, 16, $85,115.

29. (33) Travis Kvapil, Ford, 160, 44.2, 15, $74,465.

30. (40) Cole Whitt, Toyota, 159, 41.2, 14, $75,815.

31. (34) Alex Bowman, Toyota, 159, 41.4, 13, $74,165.

32. (41) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 159, 33.5, 12, $73,990.

33. (31) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 158, 41.6, 0, $73,790.

34. (36) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 158, 40.1, 10, $73,590.

35. (37) Josh Wise, Ford, 158, 35.3, 9, $73,440.

36. (39) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 158, 27.8, 8, $81,190.

37. (16) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 158, 55.9, 7, $81,004.

38. (38) J.J. Yeley, Chevrolet, 157, 32, 0, $68,030.

39. (42) Alex Kennedy, Chevrolet, 156, 28.4, 5, $64,030.

40. (7) Joey Logano, Ford, engine, 150, 80.8, 4, $100,021.

41. (10) Carl Edwards, Ford, accident, 143, 73.1, 3, $75,030.

42. (27) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, accident, 142, 67.7, 2, $71,430.

43. (43) Dave Blaney, Ford, 142, 23.9, 1, $48,530.

Wins » D Earnhardt Jr., 2; K.Harvick, 2; J.Johnson, 2; J.Logano, 2; Ku.Busch, 1; Ky.Busch, 1; C.Edwards, 1; J.Gordon, 1; D.Hamlin, 1; Bra.Keselowski, 1.

Top 12 in Points » 1. J.Gordon, 498; 2. M.Kenseth, 482; 3. D.Earnhardt Jr., 476; 4. J.Johnson, 475; 5. Bra.Keselowski, 448; 6. Ky.Busch, 443; 7. C.Edwards, 441; 8. D.Hamlin, 420; 9. J.Logano, 418; 10. K.Larson, 417; 11. R.Newman, 411; 12. K.Harvick, 403

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Earnhardt turned Brad Keselowski’s trash into Victory Lane treasure, pulling away down the stretch Sunday at Pocono Raceway for his second win of the season and a secured spot in the Chase field.

He paired his first career win at Pocono with his Daytona 500 championship for his first multi-win season since 2004.

"I feel like I’m such a lucky guy to have this second opportunity again to be competitive," Earnhardt said.

But for as strong as he ran in the No. 88 Chevrolet, Keselowski gift-wrapped this win when he yielded the lead with five laps left in a desperate attempt to clear debris from his grille and cool his overheated engine.

Keselowski’s gamble backfired — he couldn’t get the draft needed from the lapped traffic to clear his car and make one final pass for the win on Earnhardt. Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford still had the oomph in the engine needed to finish the race, and he had his second-straight runner-up finish.

"It was definitely a mistake because the engine made it," Keselowski said, rubbing his face. "It probably shouldn’t have."

Junior shook off the rising red gauges in the No. 88 that could have had his car meet a similar fate as Keselowski.

"They were still within good reason to stand on it and give it hell," he said.


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Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and rookie Kyle Larson completed the top five.

Earnhardt gave Hendrick Motorsports four straight wins, following Jeff Gordon at Kansas and Jimmie Johnson’s victories at Charlotte and Dover. Johnson overcame a pit road accident to finish sixth.

Owner Rick Hendrick texted Earnhardt before the race to let him know he would not attend and would see him next week at Michigan. Earnhardt told him, "I’ll drink one for you after it’s over."

Earnhardt stuck to his end of the deal, spraying all types of beverages in a jubilant Victory Lane. Johnson was the first driver over to congratulate him.

I don’t have much to do tomorrow," Earnhardt said, grinning. "Tonight’s going to be a long one."

Earnhardt, long NASCAR’s most popular driver, gave the Pocono crowd plenty of reason to go wild. He was mobbed by almost 100 fans outside the Pocono media center, screaming his name and clamoring for a picture with the winner.

He waved and ducked into a waiting car, whisked away for another party.

Earnhardt’s second win means he is guaranteed to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field. He won for the 29th time in 519 career Sprint Cup starts.

"When we won at Daytona, man, it made the rest of the year a lot more relaxing, a lot easier," he said. "It makes it fun because you can just go to the track and just race, not worry about points."

Junior’s breakthrough was more meaningful because has come in crew chief Steve Letarte’s final season. Letarte has become one of Earnhardt’s best friends.



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