Nascar: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Captures First Pocono Win
By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | June 11, 2014 3:04 PM EST
Luck was a factor, but it cannot be denied that Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned his first win at Pocono fair and square.
Trailing Brad Keselowski with laps to go, Earnhardt zoomed into the lead while Keselowski was trying to remove a piece of trash off his car's grille. Dominating during the entire course of the race, Keselowski got into some trouble when his car showed signs of overheating late into the race. He tried to diffuse his situation by pulling behind Danica Patrick and getting the trash to blow away, but in the process lost momentum and the win to Earnhardt Jr.
"That's unfortunate for him," Earnhardt said. "He had me beat. I couldn't get to him. It's just hard to pass here. But I have lost some in some strange ways so it feels good to win one like that."
ESPN.com reports that Keselowski settled for second followed by Kurt Busch, Denny Hemlin, Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson. The early leader said that he had no other choice but to try to remove the trash off the grille as it was threatening to further damage his vehicle.
"We were real hot," he said. "We were real fast. I just got a big piece of debris on the grille and had to do something or it would have blown up. I tried to make a move to get behind the 10 [Patrick] and use the air to pull the debris off and when she went into the corner she got loose and I just chased her up the track and lost too much momentum."
"I should have just passed her but I had to do some kind of move. The car wasn't going to make it; it was already starting to blow up and it was all I could do. Dale made an excellent move to take advantage of it. Sometimes that's just how racing goes."
Earnhardt captured his second win of the season after winning the season opening Daytona 500. This also marked the first time that he has won multiple races since 2004. This win makes him only one of four drivers to win two races, securing a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
The first time winner at Pocono also had a similar situation to the second place finisher, noticing a debris at the front of his car and fearing that it was also starting to run hot, but he was too determined to capture the win of the day.
The win puts Earnhardt at the best shape of his career since 2004, when he won a career high six races. The victory also allowed him to climb two spots to third in points with two wins, seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
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