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Pennsylvania 400

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Track Facts

Venue: Pocono Raceway
Race length: 400 miles
No. of laps: 160
Qualifying: Sat., 10:30 a.m. ET
Race: Sun., 1:19 p.m. ET (ESPN)
STAT OF THE WEEK
Time crunch: A typical 500-mile race at Pocono lasted around 3 hours, 40 minutes. June's 400-mile race lasted 3 hours, 3 minutes.
JUNE RACE
Top 5
1. Joey Logano
2. Mark Martin
3. Tony Stewart
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Denny Hamlin
RECENT JULY/AUGUST WINNERS
2011: Brad Keselowski
2010: Greg Biffle
2009: Denny Hamlin
2008: Carl Edwards
2007: Kurt Busch
2006: Denny Hamlin
2005: Kurt Busch
2004: Jimmie Johnson
2003: Ryan Newman
2002: Bill Elliott
ALSO THIS WEEKEND:
Nationwide Series
U.S. Cellular 250, Pocono Raceway, Sat. 8:15 p.m.

Camping World Truck Series
Pocono Mountains 125, Pocono Raceway, Sat. 1:21 p.m.

EXPERT STANDINGS
Hart:  636 (3 wins)
Busbee:  624 points (1 win)
Bromberg:  595 points (0 wins)
YAHOO! SPORTS FANTASY AUTO RACING
Check your team | Expert picks
Pocono preview (PDF)

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway for Sunday's Pennsylvania 400.

Brad Keselowski is the defending race winner.

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Who Will Win?

Denny Hamlin: Firmly in the Chase, it's race-for-wins time for Hamlin. That and the fact that Hamlin is always good at Pocono is a dangerous combination for the competition. Expect the 11 team to go for broke, a strategy they might not even need to deploy if their guy is already at the front. – Jay Hart

Jimmie Johnson: Denny Hamlin is the easy pick. Jimmie Johnson is the safe one. I'm going safe. Johnson is gearing up for a historic run at a sixth trophy, and he's taking the old Tiger Woods approach of terrifying the opposition before the battle even begins. – Jay Busbee

Kyle Busch: What happens to the Chase storylines if the wild-card race goes from being wide open to fairly certain in the matter of a few weeks? That's what'll happen Sunday when Busch goes to victory lane, putting he and Kasey Kahne firmly – for the time being, anyway – in the wild-card spots with five races to go before the Chase. Busch was strong at Pocono in June until he blew an engine. This time, his equipment holds up. – Nick Bromberg

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Top Storyline

JGR's engine woes have plagued the entire team, most notably Kyle Busch. Hamlin ought to be in the front of the pack here, and Busch and Joey Logano need strong finishes for the wild card. Any flare-up of engine woes could be devastating to one and nerve-wracking to the others. – Jay Busbee

With the subtraction of 100 miles from the Pocono race distance, the first race at the triangle saw an increased sense of urgency as well as a couple of crashes, something that had been missing from the Sprint Cup Series at times in 2012. Will the intensity ratchet up any more Sunday? And will everyone be waiting with bated breath to see how John Wes Townley does? Hint: The answer to the latter question is no. – Nick Bromberg

Carl Edwards laid out his strategy last week at Indy when he openly admitted he's no longer points racing, that he's racing for wins. No one will be more desperate Sunday, so keeping an eye on Edwards will be interesting. – Jay Hart

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FROM THE SOURCE

"The restarts [in June] were insane, but you had to take full advantage of them. That was the biggest opportunity to make gains and, definitely, big gains. You could get three or four at a time if somebody got bottled up a little bit. Had to be on your toes for the restarts, for sure." – Tony Stewart