• Even as he gets ready to celebrate his 40th birthday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. still commands the admiration of NASCAR fans like no other. In many races this season, as soon as the winner takes the checkered flag – and sometimes even before – the race begins to the parking lot. Not Sunday. Fans remained in the grandstands to soak up every moment of the celebration surrounding Earnhardt’s first ever victory at Pocono Raceway. Adding to the moment was the genuine excitement Earnhardt and his team members enjoyed as well.
• Small teams have a hard time keeping pace with likes of Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing or Team Penske these days, so a pair of Top 20 finishes by Front Row Motorsports and Tommy Baldwin Racing is an accomplishment worthy of note. Front Row’s David Ragan finished 18th and TBR’s Michael Annett ended up 20th. Ragan’s finish was a season’s best.
• So much technology involved in racing these days and the outcome of a race was still determined Sunday in large part because a piece of paper (or hot dog wrapper) ended up getting stuck on the front grille of a pair of cars.
An official announcement of contract extensions for Biffle and the sponsor with RFR could come as soon as this coming week, sources said.
A team spokesman said the organization would continue its policy of not commenting on drivers’ contract status until an official announcement was made. Biffle finished 16th on Sunday.
Biffle, 44, has spent virtually his entire NASCAR career with team owner Jack Roush and won championships in the Truck and Nationwide series. He has 19 Cup series wins in 415 career starts and finished as high as second in the series standings (2005).
Instead he lost his momentum, allowing Dale Earnhardt Jr. to pass him for the lead with four laps remaining.
“I was trying to do something to help my car out and I knew it was going to break and I was going to get passed so I was trying to make whatever move I could do to help clean it off, and I’m not sure I did enough to make a difference,” he said.
“But I made enough of a difference to lose the lead in the process.”
“We had top-10 cars all year but we were not able to finish races,” said Truex, whose only other top-10 came in Richmond in April. “The last two weeks we finished the races and got some decent results.
“We’re gaining but still have a ways to get to where we want to be.”
“It was 100 percent driver error,” said Stewart, who finished 14th. “I gave my guys grief last week with a sixth-place run (and) thought we should run in the top three and then I threw it away this week.”
Five key moments
Unofficial results and points standings