Logano, Kyle Busch and Truex Jr. fall victim to dry fuel cells RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings LONG POND, Pa. -- It was a tale of two races in Sunday's Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway, and the only thing that could slow Kyle Busch down was an empty fuel tank. Eight cautions in the first 97 laps didn't allow drivers to get into much of a rhythm, but a 63-lap green-flag run to the finish set up a chaotic ending. The top drivers of the afternoon -- Joey Logano , Busch and Martin Truex Jr. -- all ran out of fuel late while running in the top three and plenty of others were close too. That misfortune allowed Matt Kenseth to lead the final lap and steal the victory. Logano ran dry on Lap 158 with three laps to go, giving way to Busch for the lead. Except on the final lap, Busch ran out of gas. In between that, Truex Jr.’s fuel tank ran dry on Lap 159. All three stopped for service around Lap 124 during the lengthy green-flag run. Pit road speeding penalties cost Logano and Truex better finishes than what the final results show. Those penalties were assessed after the finish, making them both the last cars on the lead lap. "I don't know where we were on our strategy and all that stuff," Busch said on pit road after his 21st-place finish. "I got to debrief with Adam (Stevens, Busch's crew chief) first. I don't how close we were, if we were one lap short of making it, then I probably needed to save or do a better job of running those last 30 laps or so. He kept telling me to save my stuff, save my stuff. Just in case we had a yellow there and had to race. "I didn't know we were going to be short on fuel but once the 22 (Logano) ran out, to try and save fuel in those three laps just wasn't going to happen. We were short. We ran out but we went down swinging and I can't fault my guys for that. An awesome call. They called the race right and another ... can of gas and we'd be winning another one." Busch came into Pocono riding three straight victories and looking to be closing in a spot in the top 30 in the point standings. He will head to Watkins Glen 32nd in the standings, just 13 points out from getting into the top 30. "We got greedy. I don't know how greedy, but that's the position we're in," Busch said. For Logano, the result was another close-but-no-cigar type finish for the No. 22 Team Penske Ford. The 2015 Daytona 500 winner had a strong car all day, leading a race-high 97 laps but had to settle for 20th-place. This comes on the heels of two runner-up finishes to Busch in the previous three races. "I guess our numbers, from what Todd (Gordon, crew chief) said, was good enough to make it by a half a lap," Logano said. "I was saving fuel just to cushion it. I thought I was going to be good and then I started running out and knew we weren't going to make it. "We keep getting so close to these wins and they don't happen and it is so frustrating. The truth is that is if we keep racing hard and racing to the front we will win races. We were so close. You are counting down the laps in your head thinking you are going to make it but just didn't do it." The pressure Busch was putting on Logano from second place didn't allow the 25-year-old to save as much and ultimately both were on the wrong side of the fuel game. "You can only save so much and the 18 (Busch) was doing the same thing. He had to push me and I had to start saving a certain amount. He would catch me and then I would pull away a little bit. We were playing cat and mouse out there. It is not the way you want to race. You want to go to the gas and race hard. These fuel mileage races are always exciting, usually more so when you are on the winning end, not the losing end." Truex, who won at Pocono in June, saw a silver lining when he led his first laps since that win. However, he came out 19th, marking his fifth finish outside the top 10 in the past six races. It's a disappointing statistic when compared to the No. 78 team's 14 top 10s in the first 15 races of the season. "Once again on the wrong end of a fuel mileage race," Truex said, who finished fifth at Charlotte, when Carl Edwards rode to victory on a fuel mileage play. "We thought we were in good shape there. I saved the whole last run. The last 15, 20 laps I saved a lot. So not sure where we missed that." But for Truex, who is currently sixth in the provisional Chase Grid, he was focused on the bigger picture from the weekend's work. "Yeah, it's disappointing but what I am going to take away from this race is how our Furniture Row guys kept on making our Chevrolet better and better during the weekend," Truex said. "We were a contender today and in the big picture that's the most important point for our team as we head into the Chase. We were rolling; we just needed a little more fuel to make it an even better weekend." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Joey Logano discusses coming up short in the Windows 10 400 and expresses his frustration with being so close to winning again since the DAYTONA 500 .
Sam Bass has been drawing racecars since the age of seven. Since then he has realized a childhood dream creating racing art for some of the biggest names in NASCAR.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. slams into the back end of Sam Hornish Jr. entering Turn 1 as the No. 9 has a problem.
Junior battles back from penalty, contact and vibration for fourth-place finish RELATED: Junior dishes on Hendrick's recent woes LONG POND, Pa. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . wasn't able to defend his Windows 10 400 title Sunday at Pocono Raceway, but after overcoming a self-induced pit-road penalty, on-track contact and a severe vibration, he was happy with a fourth-place finish. "Just had more fuel than everybody else," Earnhardt Jr. said. "We had a lot of trouble today." By Lap 40, the No. 88 car moved up to third from 15th at the start as pit strategies played out. But when he came to pit road 13 laps later, Earnhardt Jr. was caught speeding entering pit road. "Tach wasn't working right so we got caught speeding on pit road," Earnhardt Jr. said. "That was kind of my fault because we have a backup plan, and I didn't use it very well I guess. We got behind, and never could really get our track position back." Falling to 25th by Lap 70, Earnhardt was caught between Cole Whitt low and Casey Mears high in Turn 1 on Lap 72, bringing out the seventh caution of the race. "I must have come down on Cole Whitt down there into Turn 1," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I didn't think I had anybody underneath me. I was just kind of taking it easy getting down into the corner off the gas and waiting on everybody to sort it out. I must have come down on him. We got a little damage there. We fixed that. Got back out there." By Lap 80, Earnhardt Jr. had fallen back to 36th place after fighting a vibration that neither he nor crew chief Greg Ives could diagnose. "We had a lot of vibrations for some reason, not the driveline vibrations, kind of like a bad tire or something," Earnhardt Jr. said. "The right front shook real bad on one set, and the right rear shook bad. "We ran good lap times throughout the day. We got in front of the leader there one time and was running some good laps until we had a real bad vibration kick in and turn sideways down there." After seven cautions in the first half of the race, only one caution came out in the second 80 laps, and the No. 88 team was able to climb into the top 20 by Lap 140. Host of the popular "Back In the Day" show on SPEED Channel, Earnhardt Jr. was surprised that NASCAR waved no yellows in the final 63 laps and threw in a throwback Sunday reference to the year before his birth. "The booth up there, they turned the clock back to 1973 and let that thing play out a little bit, let everybody run out of gas," Earnhardt Jr. said. "That was pretty cool, kind of like some of the older races where you just can't count on them to throw the cautions at the end. They didn't today." Sitting 17th at Lap 150, several cars ran out of Sunoco Green E15 in the final 10 laps, and Earnhardt Jr. was able to earn his third top-five finish in the last five races. He was joined in the top six by fellow Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon in third and Jimmie Johnson in sixth. On Friday, Earnhardt Jr. said Hendrick Motorsports may not be "on top of the mountain any more," and since his win at Daytona, the team has only led four laps over the past four races, including two on Sunday by Gordon. As Joe Gibbs Racing continues its recent dominance with its fourth consecutive victory and 353 laps led in that stretch, Earnhardt Jr. was optimistic that his team may have turned the corner. "Really enjoyed the power we had today," Earnhardt Jr. "We had great motors. I could tell down the straightaway it was as good anybody or better. "We just got to work on our car. Our car wasn't very good all weekend in the corner. We had a lot of balance issues we never really cured so that held us up. We weren't as good as we were earlier this year. "Still a top-10, top-five car, but just barely a top-five car. I thought we had a good enough car to win here when we come here in the summer earlier, but we lost a little on the balance." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Ryan Reed post-race: 'I told him we can race like that and I'm totally fine' NEWTON, Iowa -- What opened up as a reasonably clean, meandering NASCAR XFINITY Series race turned into a regular Saturday night showdown, a swashbuckling smashfest in three acts that left bruises on fenders and egos alike at Iowa Speedway. After traveling 205 of an overtime 260 laps with a harmless three caution periods, short-track bedlam erupted in the late stages, potentially re-opening an old rift between teammates, ruffling the feathers of the defending series champion and sparking a post-race shove further back in the pack. The earliest sign that the U.S. Cellular 250 would not go quietly into the good Iowa night came with 21 laps left in regulation, when reigning champ Chase Elliott tangled with rookie Brandon Jones on the frontstretch in a contest for sixth place. Elliott, already frustrated by his late fade as the only front-runner to make a two-tire stop in the last exchange, keyed his radio to tell his JR Motorsports crew: "I'm pretty upset right now. That's all I'm going to say." Told that Jones accepted full blame over the his own radio, Elliott replied: "Yeeeeppp. They can tell that to the points tally." Jones was apologetic again after the race, telling NASCAR.com that he felt he was clear as he slid up the race track on the exit of Turn 4. He said he didn't have a chance to issue an apology in person with ninth-place finisher Elliott after the race. "I think he probably went back to his hauler, but I'll get back up with him (later) and try to explain what happened, for sure," said Jones, who finished 20th in just his second XFINITY start. "Me and Chase are really good friends and I didn't mean for that to happen, but can't do anything now about it. We'll go to the next one." The next one in terms of post-race flare-ups should make for another interesting team meeting this week at Roush Fenway Racing . Points leader Chris Buescher and teammate Bubba Wallace, who locked horns in May at Dover International Speedway, collided again with two laps left, pushing the race into overtime. Wallace, damaged in an earlier incident with Erik Jones entering pit road, caught the worst of it with fellow teammate Ryan Reed and the retiring Kenny Wallace sliding behind him in the aftermath. Wallace dismounted from his No. 6 Ford post-race, exchanged words with Buescher's crew chief Scott Graves, and leaned in to Buescher's window for a succinct post-race talk. "I think he said, 'good job.' I just grabbed him really quick," Wallace said. "We screwed up so bad in this race. It was miserable. I let my guys down. I got into Erik there on pit road and that put us in a corner. Just hate it, man. I screwed up tonight. Just paying for it." Asked about any potential tension within the Roush ranks, Wallace smiled and shrugged: "He's racing. We're racing hard. That's it. Nothing to it. I just told him good job and we'll go to Watkins Glen." Buescher, the winner here at the .875-mile track in May, was aiming for a rare Iowa season sweep, but on the first green-white-checkered attempt that followed, his No. 60 was heavily damaged by the sliding car of Brennan Poole . He limped home to a 13th-place finish, two spots behind Wallace, but retained his lead in the XFINITY standings. "Our guys did a heck of a job and we brought back a heck of a car to Iowa and we should've been in really good contention for this thing," Buescher said. "You know, it's just tough. We had so many restarts there late. Guys are just, they're tough -- just dive-bomb it in there and it's tough." Pressed for specifics about his contact with Wallace, Buescher declined to tell: "I'm not talking about that one. … Nope. Nothing to say." Caught in part of the crossfire was Reed, who soldiered to a 19th-place finish and had fireworks of his own to come. In trying to assess the hard-nosed racing between Buescher and Wallace, he said he felt certain the issues would be resolved in time. "They're both great drivers and I have a lot of respect for both of them and get along with both of 'em. I can't really get in the middle of it, but at the same time, I understand how it can be racing teammates," Reed said. "You want to run everyone as hard as you can, just seems, like you said, they're magnets and I'm not sure why it's like that. They're both great drivers, I have a lot of respect for them, and I'm sure they'll get through it." Reed's issues weren't over, though, as his No. 16 Ford scraped across the start-finish line in 19th-place at the checkered flag. Very little cool-down happened on the cool-down lap, with Reed marching over to the No. 4 Chevrolet and giving its driver, Ross Chastain , a swift shove. "There were a lot of wrecks there at the end. It's part of short-track racing," Reed said. "My getting at the 4, like I said in my other interview, it's kind of the pot calling the kettle black because I got into the 20 ( Kenny Wallace ), but the 20 was very unintentional. I just went up to the 4 and he just flat-out told me, 'Hey man, it was a green-white-checkered,' so I have a hard time with that. I have a really hard time with going in there and just intentionally banzai-ing someone and punting them out of the way. It's fine. I told him we can race like that and I'm totally fine with that." Chastain claimed said he wanted to see video of the incident before making a judgment call. "I haven't seen a replay yet, so I can't say too much. I don't want to because I don't want to overstep what I don't know," Chastain told NASCAR.com. "What I remember -- and it might be completely wrong -- is I got to the bottom of (Turn) 1 and the 16 was right outside of me. I thought we were pretty low on the race track and we might've gotten together a little bit. It looks like there's a little mark on my fender, and I just got by him and there was mayhem and chaos everywhere. I don't know. Until I see a replay, I don't know. "Me and him have raced hard all year. It's good for us that we're racing against guys like that because people think we shouldn't be, but we are. When we come to a track like Iowa, we can show what this team's made out of. I'm proud of my guys. I hate it that he got torn up, but I didn't feel like I was too in the wrong, but I'll have to watch a replay to see." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Saturday's race start of favorable stretch for points leader NEWTON, Iowa -- The last time Chris Buescher visited Iowa Speedway, he was savoring the laurels of his second career victory and leaving the track as the new NASCAR XFINITY Series points leader. Back in Iowa some 10 weeks and eight races later, he's still atop the XFINITY heap without much major movement in the standings since. With the season entering its second half, no one -- either Buescher or the other title contenders -- has been able to manufacture a significant charge. "I hope it's us," Buescher said of the likelihood of a late-season points swing. "There's really no telling right now. I don't know where these next races are going to go. I know from our side of it, we're prepared for it and we are looking forward to it. We feel like this could be a really good stretch for us. We'll see how it plays out." Buescher aims to retain or build upon his 25-point lead over defending series champion Chase Elliott in Saturday night's U.S. Cellular 250 presented by New Holland (8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, MRN, SiriusXM). He'll try to accomplish that goal at a .875-mile track that's been kind to his Roush Fenway Racing team (five wins in the last nine Iowa races) and Ford teams in general (seven wins in 11 Iowa races total). "We've had some pretty good runs here in the XFINITY Series. It's just a place that we seem to have something that works pretty well for all of our teams," Buescher said. "We come here each and every time and we always have some kind of shot with one of our team cars to be able to get a win. It is nice. It's a good short track. We love coming to race here. It puts on some of the best racing that we have all year." Buescher's springtime spike -- which included a stretch of eight top-10 finishes in a 10-race span -- has cooled off somewhat as summer temperatures have risen. The 22-year-old Texas native has gone four races without a top 10 and hasn't led a lap in six weeks. But if anything, Buescher said the five races coming up on the XFINITY schedule might be considered a favorable stretch. Among them are three road courses (Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and Road America) and two short tracks (Iowa and Bristol). He'll also return to Mid-Ohio as the defending race winner, aiming to repeat at the site of his first XFINITY victory. With five drivers within 57 points of the lead, it would be hard to blame Buescher for playing the racing equivalent of a prevent defense for the 15 races left in the 33-race schedule. But Buescher insists that the No. 60 team's approach is unlikely to waver down the stretch. "The points are something you have to pay attention to, to an extent," Buescher said. "I don't particularly like points racing. It's not our focus. That's not the one thing that we're going to go chase each and every week. We're out here to go win races and be competitive every week, and if you can do that, you end up in a really good spot in the points battle and you can play it from there. So we're to a point in the year where we've put ourselves in the right situations. "We've got a little bit of a cushion -- not much -- and we can look at that when we go to races. For weekends that we don't have the best run or the run we were hoping for -- like we had at Indy, we were able to salvage and not lose much. When we get into races like that, you have to pay attention to it and know that when it comes down to the end, every point's going to count. At the same time, when we're trying to go out here and win these races, you can't lean on the points too much. You've got to go try and maximize everything you can. If you can win a race, you're going to get more points than anybody else." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver acknowledges challenges involved with one-car organization LONG POND, Pa. -- Eight weeks ago, Martin Truex Jr . snapped his 69-race winless streak in very convincing fashion, leading 97 laps at Pocono Raceway on his way to winning the Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 for his third career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win. Now, he is back at the "Tricky Triangle" for Sunday's Windows 10 400 (NBCSN/Live Extra, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and the driver of No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet is looking for the season sweep at Pocono. "It feels a little different coming back this time for sure. It feels good . It was definitely a huge weekend for us, for all of us; for me, my team, for Barney (Visser, team owner) and just everybody that has put so much effort into Furniture Row Racing and the No. 78 car. "Hopefully, we can repeat on what we did last time. Obviously, it’s not going to be easy, but I feel like we are up for the challenge." Truex is looking to become the eighth driver to sweep both events in the same season. His good friend, Dale Earnhardt Jr ., became the seventh driver to sweep at Pocono last year. He will not be going for the sweep in the same car he took to Victory Lane in June as he has a new Chevrolet for this race. The New Jersey native indicated there is a little more pressure on this return trip just because they were so dialed in during the previous race at the 2.5-mile track. "You definitely feel a little more pressure just because we were so good here last time that you don’t want to screw it up. But at the same time, again, the track is a little bit different and everybody is getting better. I think the Gibbs Racing cars have proven that in a couple of weeks’ time you can make some really big gains. I think those guys are really the cars to beat right now. We’ve got to continue to work hard and try to get our stuff better and try to again get up front and start leading laps again and put ourselves in position to win again." Truex followed the June win with a third-place finish in the rain-shortened race at Michigan, but wrecks took Truex out of Sonoma (42nd-place) and Daytona (38th). He followed that up with a pair of top-20 finishes at Kentucky (17th) and Loudon (12th) before notching his sixth top-five result of the season with a fourth-place finish at Indianapolis last week. "It's been a little bit up and down here lately, but I feel like we still have speed in our racecars. We really haven’t been to any tracks where we feel like we have really performed well at. No 1.5-miles, a place like Dover where we led the most laps, places that I tend to run really well at. I think we have some more good tracks coming up. I feel like we still have that momentum, we just kind of had some bad luck along the way." Truex acknowledged that the different rules packages unveiled in the middle of the season were not favorable to a single-car team like Furniture Row. A low downforce package was run at Kentucky last month and will be used again at Darlington in September, while a high-drag package was used at Indianapolis last week and will be used again at Michigan in two weeks. The team started 2015 strong due to its quick grasp on the 2015 rules package as Truex became the first driver since Richard Petty (in 1969) with 14 top 10s in his first 15 races of the season. "We really geared up this season and put a lot of emphasis on building our cars and focusing on the rules package we thought we were going to have. A small team like ours can't make those big changes and go after a new rules package quite as fast as, say, the bigger teams. "We really put all our eggs in that basket of 'hey these are the '15 rules.' We developed our whole car around it over the winter and going into the start of the season. We really hope that it continues down that path. At this point we are not really sure what is going to happen. It’s definitely a difficult time for the teams for sure. "A lot of money being spent on wind tunnel time and aero stuff and just trying to figure those things out, but at the end of the day we don’t even know what we are going to have yet," Truex said. "So, it's definitely difficult, especially for the smaller teams to be able to do that." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Late spin foils Erik Jones' attempt to beat his boss at Pocono RELATED: Contact turns Jones around on restart " Full race results LONG POND, Pa. -- It looked like it was going to be the teacher battling his mentor and team owner for a victory. However, Erik Jones ' spin on Lap 60 ruined his chances of beating Kyle Busch in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 . Running second at the time, Jones was in the middle lane challenging Busch for the lead when Austin Dillon 's right front made contact with Jones' left rear, which turned the driver of the No. 4 Toyota and spun the 19-year-old into Timothy Peters . Jones rebounded from the late-race trouble thanks to three green-white-checkered finishes to finish in 10th place for his ninth top-10 finish of the season. After the race, Jones pulled up to Dillon's car on pit road and the two had a civil exchange discussing the incident, even shaking hands afterward. Dillon explained his side of things to Jones, who mainly just listened. "It was a good exchange," Dillon said after the race. "I just told him the 05 (of John Wes Townley ) was in my left rear quarter panel and that's what I heard. I haven't seen a replay. I just felt like I was getting pushed and I was already loose. And I felt like if I lifted, I'd wreck, too. I chose the path to sustain it. I hate it for him. I was hoping he'd be able to save it. There wasn't much he could do off of 2. I hate it for him because he's running for points." Jones was disappointed to not get the win, especially when he was battling his boss for most of the day. Jones did edge Busch to win the 21 Means 21 Pole Award in the morning. RELATED: Busch wins at Pocono " Jones earns fourth pole of 2015 at Pocono "It was exciting," Jones said of racing against Busch, his truck owner, for the first time in the Camping World Truck Series. "I felt like we were definitely the two best trucks out there. "Unfortunately, we got spun out. You know, nothing you can really do about that. A solid day for us overall. Pretty good points day with the 88 (of Matt Crafton ) getting wrecked. We made up some good points. Could have made up some more had we finished first or second. But we'll take it." Jones sits third in the point standings, but is just 16 points back of series points leader Tyler Reddick and only five back of Matt Crafton for second place. Busch, who won the race, discussed racing against his protégé after the race. "He wants to win and that's where it all stems from," Busch said. "It's just competition. It's just the drive. He wanted to win today. He wanted to beat the boss, and he had the opportunity to do so. I don't know that I could have passed him if he was leading. It just didn't quite work out for him today, and that's tough. "And man, I've been there. I've hated it because you're still trying to make it in this game, and to make it in this game, the best way to do that is to win races and show people that you're the best and to not settle for second. Hopefully his top 10 will still continue to help him out through the rest of the year. I'm sure he'll still get some wins, and we can see him as a champion at the end of the year." Saturday was a busy day for Jones, who was doing his own version of the "double." From Pocono, he headed to Iowa Speedway for Saturday night's U.S. Cellular 250 presented by New Holland where he finished seventh. Since he couldn't be in Iowa for practices and qualifying, Drew Herring shook down the No. 54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing . Jones is slated to attempt a similar double on Sept. 26 when he runs the Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway before heading to Kentucky Speedway for the XFINITY Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 24 Hendrick driver races at Pocono one last time; talks Chase chances RELATED: Complete lineup for Sunday's race " See all 43 paint schemes Sunday's Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) will be Jeff Gordon 's final start at Pocono Raceway. While he appreciates the support Pennsylvania fans have given him over the years, he won't be sentimental about his last trip to the Tricky Triangle because he's still a win away from making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . "I'm so focused on the competition and trying to compete at a high level, trying to get ourselves in a position to win the race, win the pole, be in the Chase, I just can't and haven't been able to allow it to sink in," Gordon said. "It might not happen until the race is over at Homestead. I have no idea when that's going to impact or sink in." The reality of his current points position hit hard when he finished 42nd last week at Indianapolis and his margin over Clint Bowyer , the last driver currently in the Chase on points, narrowed to 37 points. Just a week earlier, he enjoyed a 71-point cushion over the final provisional Chase position. RELATED: See updated series standings In his final full-time season, Gordon wants to do more than just make the Chase; he wants to compete for his fifth championship. "Obviously having a bad finish like that, it can shake things up in a hurry," Gordon said. "I think our team is very capable of getting ourselves in the Chase, but we want more than that. We want to be battling for wins, and we're fighting extremely hard to do that. We know what a win can do in securing that spot, but we're also a strong team that has overcome adversity in the past. We're going to fight all the way through Richmond to make sure no matter what, whether it's by points or with a win, that we get ourselves in there." The six-time winner at Pocono stands atop the all-time leaderboard at the track, and Hendrick Motorsports ' 17 victories are nearly twice as many as the next closest teams on the list. Joe Gibbs Racing and Roger Penske have nine apiece. Gordon also enjoys racing on the unique three-sided surface. "I love the challenge that this race track presents on track," Gordon said. "I've been driving for a team that has great performance on tracks like this as well. We've been known to get down the straightaways pretty good . This place has a lot of straightaway, but I also like the shifting and the unique corners that are here as well." Gordon acknowledged how the negative side of the fast straightaways figured into the single moment that stands out from his 23 years of racing at the facility. "I wrecked really bad in Turn 1, that stands out," Gordon said, referring to a 2006 crash. "It's funny those types of incidents stand out to you as much as some of the good moments that you have. You never forget moments like that. Let's put it that way. "I can remember coming here early, early on and maybe even watching a race here or an IndyCar race here on TV prior to me ever racing here and just in awe of how long the front straightaway was, how fast the cars are going into Turn 1. And I always said, 'You don't ever want to have a brake problem going into Turn 1 at Pocono,' and I had one and experienced it so that stands out to me." But the people of Pocono Raceway have left a lasting impression as well. On Friday, track president Brandon Igdalsky presented Gordon with a $24,000 check for the Jeff Gordon Foundation to go with nearly $58,000 raised Thursday night for Gordon's foundation and The NASCAR Foundation at a charity poker tournament. In addition to the funds, Igdalsky's team painted "Gordon" on the track, which didn't go unnoticed by the driver of the No. 24 car. RELATED: Gordon, Wallace cash in chips for a good cause "This track has been really special to me over the years," Gordon said. "I thought it was enough that you put my name at the start/finish line but what we did last night at the event and this (check) is above and beyond." The fans of the area welcomed Gordon as a young racer, even before he joined NASCAR's premier series, and he's continued to benefit from their support throughout his racing career. "I go back to when I raced dirt around Pennsylvania and Ohio and Indiana in sprint car racing and how big racing is in this state," Gordon said. "And I think that was very evident to me immediately when I got in the Cup Series and started flying into the airports here, and it was always the biggest crowds of fans that we had, anywhere we went, standing there waiting for the teams and the drivers to arrive, wanting to get a glimpse, a picture, an autograph. "That's been maintained throughout all the years, and when I put a fan club together, our largest number of members were from Pennsylvania, if you took it by state. This is a big racing part of the country, and I think that's why the track has continued to do so well through the years because they have people that love racing, that love NASCAR racing." The four-time champion's love for Pocono would grow with a win this weekend that would keep alive his drive for five titles. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule