How the race was won
Stories of the race
Mark Martin going for the win. Martin, a six-time runner-up at Pocono but never a winner, had the fastest car for most of the day, but two miscues on pit road cost him.
Rain. Would it come? When would it come? And when it did come, how long would it last? All these questions created a variety of pit strategies that ultimately determined the outcome.
Kyle Busch's late-race miscue on pit road. Just when it looked like the points leader would redeem himself from a 43rd-place finish at Pocono in June, Busch had trouble on pit road, stalling his car. Adding insult to injury, he recieved a speeding penalty, which knocked him from a certain top-10 finish all the way down to 36th.
Give 'em credit
Kevin Harvick gets spun out on Lap 1, then rallied to finish a remarkable fourth.
Where has Dale Jr. gone?
After starting the season as the most consistent driver on the circuit, posting top 10s in 12 of the first 16 races, Junior has cracked the top 10 just once in the last six events.
What were they thinking?
Martin and crew: Why take four tires on two consecutive pit stops when 1) you'd already had an issue changing four tires, which put you back in the pack and 2) clearly there was no advantage to taking four tires over two? Just didn't make sense.
Back in the hunt
Stick a fork in him
Brian Vickers looked like a serious threat to make the Chase, but after back-to-back weekends where he finished 42nd at Indy and 28th at Pocono, his chances are cooked.
Grading the race
Races at Pocono are like the moive "Groundhog Day," where everything is the same race after race after race. In this case, it's leader takes the lead, runs away from everyone until the next pit stop, then does it all over again. The only good action was watching Mark Martin try to battle his way back to the front and figuring out who made the right pit call when the rain came. While I'm a big fan of the Mattiolis, who own the track, I'm still not a big fan of the racing at Pocono. Grade: C
From the source
Bob Osborne, Carl Edwards' crew chief: "We discussed it on the radio. I was planning on pitting. Carl said, 'What would you do if you thought the track would get cleaned up and we'd run it green?' And I told him we would come for two tires. When the time came he came for two tires, I didn't tell him to stay out and we digged on."
Jimmie Johnson: "I think going into the Chase, you're going to see a lot of heated moments. I think Richmond is going to be a barnburner when we get there. It's really going to be an intense one."
- Mark Martin