LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA – Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in position to pounce on Sunday, punching his ticket to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by winning his second race this season and his first-ever at Pocono Raceway.
It took a little racing luck.
Runner-up Brad Keselowski was terrific in clean air. What he lacked was a clean grille.
On Sunday, when Keselowski’s car began to overheat due to a piece of trash on his front end, Earnhardt roared by, becoming the fourth consecutive Hendrick Motorsports driver to put a Chevrolet in Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway.
“Brad had the better car; he had me beat,” said Earnhardt, who has known his share of late-race misfortune. Take the third race of the season at Las Vegas, when he ran out of gas on the final lap, enabling Keselowski to win.