Dale Earnhardt Jr. played the pit strategy game better than anyone Sunday taking the lead with 14 laps to go and holding off a hard charging Kevin Harvick on a restart with two laps to go to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway. Having won in June, Earnhardt becomes the sixth driver to sweep the races at Pocono and the first since 2006.
The win was his third of the season and the 22nd of his NASCAR Cup Series career. The victory ties Earnhardt with Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski for the most series wins in 2014. The key to the win came with the pit strategy call by crew chief Steve Letarte on lap 120. Earnhardt pitted while most of the leaders stayed out. From there all he needed was a quick splash of fuel in the closing laps that eventually had him in fourth place. From there he was able to race his way to the front and the lead with 14 laps to go.
“He’s the guy you need to talk to,” Earnhardt said of his crew chief. “I’m in the car I can’t even figure out what is going on. I just trust what he does, decisions he makes. It started to make sense. A lot of these race tracks with the tires the way they are you’ve got to minimize the time you are on pit road during the race. That is what he was trying to do.” MORE>>>