Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to march on in the footsteps of his father, the late, great Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt Jr. won the 33rd annual Pocono 400, giving him his ninth top-10 finish of 2014 and first ever victory at the Pocono event.
Earnhardt Jr. had previously finished second at the Pocono Raceway two separate times, but had never taken first place. Earnhardt Jr. has somewhat dominated the Pocono Raceway in terms of successful outings, as this also went down as his 12th top-10 finish in 29 tries.
Earnhardt’s latest win also marked his 21st career victory in 519 NSCS races.
On top of the quality win, Earnhardt Jr. got one step closer to qualify for this year’s Chase for the 2014 Nascar Sprint Cup. Earnhardt Jr. now guaranteed to be among the top 16 drivers after race number 26. Any spot inside the top-30 in driver points beyond race 26 will land him a spot in the Chase.
Jeff Gordon leads the way in the 2014 Chase, with Matt Kenseth stuck between him and Earnhardt at second place. Earnhardt is currently in third with Jimmie Johnson in fourth, while Brad Keselowski rounds out the top five.
Earnhardt Jr. was the ultimate winner in Nascar’s latest big race, but he wasn’t the only big name to finish well. Kevin Harvick finished 14th at Pocono, moving himself into 12th in the current 2014 NSCS Standings.
Greg Biffle (16th) and Brian Vickers (19th) didn’t do as well as they had hoped, but still managed to crack the top-20 and keep a solid place in the overall standings at 14th and 12th, respectively.
The next big race on the schedule will be the Quicken Loans 400, set for Sunday, June 15th at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI. Earnhardt joins the first place Gordon and Tony Stewart as former winners of the race trying to add another win at the midway point of the Nascar season.