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Last Updated Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 5:27 pm, EDT

Pennsylvania 500

Status: Final Pocono Raceway

Race Capsule

Pocono Raceway
  • What:

    Race 20 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, PA

  • When:

    July 27, 2003 1:00 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    200

  • Track Length:

    2.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    500.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $4,260,957

Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson Sits fifth in the points standings (419 points behind the leader) following Sunday's victory New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway where he conserved fuel enough to hold off Harvick over the last 35 laps; ranked among the top-10 in the Winston Cup points standings for 52 consecutive races, dating back to the 2002 spring race in Atlanta; has competed in three races at Pocono, finishing 15th in this race one year ago and 12th this past June; debut at track in June 2002 was a solid third place.
Terry Labonte Winner of two races at Pocono Raceway, taking the Pocono 500 in 1995 and 1989; his win in 1995 came from the 27th starting position, the farthest back of any wins at Pocono; posted a pair of top-fives and five top-10s this year to place 16th in standings.
Some good success at Pocono include a June win last year and flags in this race in 1995 and 1997; was running sixth at time of an accident in the Pocono 500 just over a month ago which he'd like to redeem; has 11 top-10 finishes in the July race and aside from a 41st-place finish at the July race in 2001, has finished in the top-10 every July race dating back to the 1991 Miller 500; 16 starts in the July race at Pocono, and has led laps in eight of those races for a total of 270 laps.
Matt Kenseth Finished third in the New England 300 at Loudon to extend championship lead to a whopping and largest advantage (this season) of 234 points over Gordon; leader for the 16th consecutive race week; the effort was second top 10 in the last three races and eighth in the last 10; struggled in qualifying at Pocono with just one start better than 22nd in seven career appearances, but has found success at the track, with four top-10 finishes in last six starts, including last two; was eighth in last year's Pennsylvania 500 and then finished a personal-best third in this season's June event.
Bill Elliott Tops the win chart at Pocono with five victories; four wins were recorded in this race, including last season; scored just two top-five finishes this season and is 19th in standings; this will be 44th career start at Pocono Raceway; in addition to wins, has five poles, 14 top-fives and 22 top-10 finishes; led 22 Pocono races for a total of 427 laps led at the track; in last year's Pennsylvania 500, Elliott and teammate Jeremy Mayfield both qualified in the top-five (Elliott-1st, Mayfield-4th); is one of only four drivers to sweep both races at Pocono in the 20 years that the racetrack has hosted two Winston Cup events in the same year.
Kurt Busch Broke out of a three-race slump in which he had finished 28th or worse with an 11th-place effort at New Hampshire; it was second-best finish in last eight starts, second only to victory at Michigan; moved up one position to eighth in the standings, 73 points behind seventh-place Kevin Harvick; finished 36th or worse in three of last four starts at Pocono, including the 36th place in June; bright spot came in last year's Pennsylvania 500, when he finished runner-up to Bill Elliott and led his first laps (3) at Pocono.
Michael Waltrip Dropped one position to sixth in points after 28th finish at New Hampshire; placed among the top 15 in previous four races including a pair of top fives; held fifth in standings the previous three weeks; 56 points behind Johnson and 475 behind leader Kenseth; not much success at Pocono, registering just four top-10 finishes in 35 career starts; most recent top-10 effort came in the June race of 2002 when he finished eighth; was 18th in last year's Pennsylvania 500 and matched that finish in June of this year.
Finished in the top-10 at Pocono Raceway 15 times in career; enters Pennsylvania 500 15th in points; dropped five positions after finishing 39th at New Hampshire this past weekend; finished 18th or lower in last four races; third in last year's Pennsylvania 500.
Jeff Gordon 24th finish at New Hampshire was worst effort since 33rd at Darlington in the fifth race of the season; it was costly in his pursuit of No. 1 Matt Kenseth; came in trailing by 165 points, and exited New Hampshire 234 behind a 69-point swing; did retain the second position in the ranking for the second straight week; looks to rebound at Pocono, where he is a three-time winner and owns 16 top-10 finishes in 21 career starts; has been unable to crack the top 10 in his last two starts 12th in last year's Pennsylvania 500 and 13th in June after previously finishing among the top 10 in 13 of his previous 14 starts at Pocono; also has led laps in 15 of his 21 starts, including 100 or more on three occasions and won two poles and has nine top-five starts.
Set to make 700th consecutive start and 787th career in Winston Cup; has competed in Winston Cup events at 28 different racetracks around the country and won at 14; ran at least one race at each of those tracks during the streak, except Ontario Motor Speedway; this is 29th season on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit; collected at least one victory every season from 1983 to 1998 (16 seasons), a Modern Era record tied by Rusty Wallace, who recorded at least one victory from 1986 to 2001 (16 seasons).
Kevin Harvick Second-place run at New Hampshire was worth $165,033 to put him over $10 million for career earnings in just over 2 1/2 seasons (not bad for a West Coast racer from Bakersfield, California); is seventh in the overall points standings; will use car it finished 17th at Chicago and 16th at Martinsville earlier in the year; has been plagued by some unfortunate circumstances in the season's first half, but picked up action in recent weeks with two top-five and three top-10s in last four races.
Tony Stewart Just seven weeks ago won Pocono 500 here for 16th career victory in series; it was first win at an oval track of more than two miles in length and it marked a turning point in the season; earlier in the year, was dealt four DNFs (Did Not Finish) in the span of six races, which dropped the reigning Winston Cup champion to 20th in points after being as high as second following the Darlington (S.C.) race in mid-March; but a fourth-place finish at Dover (Deaware.) on the first of June signaled the team's turnaround, which was later punctuated by their Pocono triumph; ninth in points.