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

Pocono 500

Status: Final Pocono Raceway

Race Capsule

Pocono Raceway
  • What:

    Race 14 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, PA

  • When:

    June 12, 2005 1:40 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    200

  • Track Length:

    2.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    500.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $4,750,449

Drivers to Watch

Mark Martin Four-time series runner-up, who has announced he will retire after the season, ran third in Dover last week to climb six spots to sixth in the standings; was his fourth top-five and sixth top-10 of the season; his three career poles on this track are tied with Rusty Wallace for most among active drivers; won the Nextel All-Star Challenge last month but has not won a points race since last year's spring event in Dover; has a series-high 18 top-fives and 25 top-10s in 36 career starts here but has never won.
Ryan Newman Leads the series with four poles this season after topping the circuit in that category each of the last three years; was denied a chance at his fifth pole when rain canceled qualifying in Dover last week; ran eighth to maintain his spot of fourth in the standings, 240 points off the pace; is just nine points shy of Elliott Sadler, who is third; has recorded four straight top-10 finishes after managing just three through the season's first nine events; has yet to visit victory lane this year and has just two checkered flags since leading the circuit with eight wins in 2003; has three top-fives, including a victory in the 2003 Pennsylvania 500, in six career starts here.
Jimmie Johnson Ran fourth in Dover last week for his circuit-high seventh top-five and 10th top-10 of the season; maintained his spot atop the standings but had his lead whittled from 71 to 46 points over Biffle; has two victories, including the Coca-Cola 600 two weeks ago; swept both events here last year en route to a series-best and career-high eight checkered flags last year; led 126 laps in winning this event and 124 to win the Pennsylvania 500 on August 1; never has finished lower than 15th in six career starts on this track; won the pole for this race in 2003 and finished 12th.
Greg Biffle Only driver to win Busch Series title (2002) and Craftsman Truck Series championship (2000) is seeking to add a Nextel Cup crown to his resume; led twice for a race-high 150 laps to win last week's MBNA RacePoints 400 in Dover; was his circuit-best fourth checkered flag of the season and fifth in 14 events dating to last season's finale; had three wins in 78 career starts entering this season; moved within 46 points of series front-runner Jimmie Johnson; his nine top-10s this season are second only to Johnson's 10; finished 11th in this event last year but posted a fourth in the Pennsylvania 500 here seven weeks later to notch his first top-10 in 16 races.
Elliott Sadler Ran 10th in Dover last week for his seventh top-10 of the season; has finished in the top five just once in 19 races dating to last year - a second from the pole in the Food City 500 on April 3; is third in the standings, 231 points off the pace; seeking his first victory since September 5, when he won the Pop Secret 500 at California Speedway to secure a berth into the inaugural "Chase for the Nextel Cup"; has been running at the finish in each of his 12 starts here, the longest streak among active drivers; was 12th in this event last year before running 10th in the Pennsylvania 500.
Tony Stewart Stirred up drama last week in Dover, running Jeff Gordon into the wall on lap 41 and exchanging barbs with the four-time series champion via the media; climbed a spot to fifth in the standings despite finishing the race one lap down in 15th; has six top-10s this season, including a pair of runner-ups; has gone 27 races without a win, with most recent checkered flag coming at Watkins Glen on August 15; won this event in 2003 but ran 27th and 35th in the two events here last year.
Carl Edwards Won last week's Pocono 500 under caution after an accident involving Bobby Labonte occurred during the "overtime" laps; was his second win of the season, vaulting him five spots to fourth in the series standings; the victory came at the expense of his Busch Series standings lead as he skipped that circuit's event, which was postponed Saturday and rescheduled for Sunday in Nashville; has six top-10s in his first first full season on this circuit after making 13 starts last season; made his Cup debut on this track last season, running 10th in August.
Jeff Gordon Four-time series champion was run into the wall by Tony Stewart on lap 41 in Dover last week, leading to a 39th-place finish and a war of words with Stewart; was his third straight result of 30th or worse, knocking him out of the standings top 10 (11th); is second on the circuit with three wins, including the season-opening Daytona 500, and has five top-fives; has finished 12th or worse when he hasn't run in the top four this season; was fourth in this race last year and followed with a fifth in the Pennsylvania 500 here in August; three of his 72 career checkered flags have come on this track.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. His disappointing season continued with a 22nd in Dover last week; was his fifth result of 20th or worse this season and second in as many races since crew chief Pete Rondeau was replaced by Steve Hmiel; remained 15th in the standings but fell to 418 points off the pace; was leading the standings at this point last season; since running third in the season-opening Daytona 500, has managed only four top-10s; set a career high with six checkered flags last season; had 21 top-10s in both 2003 and 2004 and finished in the top five in the standings; ran sixth in this event last year but finished 26th here in August; best finish here was a runner-up in July 2001.
Kyle Busch The 20-year-old brother of Kurt has impressed in his rookie year on this circuit after being the Busch Series Rookie of the Year in 2004; matched his career high with a second-place finish in Dover last week; also ran second to Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson in Las Vegas in March; became the youngest driver to win a truck race at 20 years, 18 days on May 20 and followed with another win in the circuit's next event; has four top-10s since replacing two-time series champion Terry Labonte in the No. 5 Chevrolet to start this season.