Find out why this story still resonates with young drivers RELATED: Evolution of rookie meeting " Youngest, oldest rookie winners A 2005 crash involving Bobby Labonte at Pocono Raceway continues to serve as a reminder for rookie drivers today in NASCAR’s three national series. "We were getting ready to put right-side glasses in the trucks when we were going to Talladega," NASCAR XFINITY Series Director Wayne Auton said. "We'd never run right-side windows in the trucks before. I was talking to Bobby about some stuff to help us get ready to go down there and one of the things he brought up was about running the right-side glass. "I sort of questioned about why we should be worried about the right-side glass. And he said, 'well what happened to me was … I got pinned up against the outside wall (on the) driver's side.' There was so much smoke inside the car he got disoriented … and couldn't get out of the car." As a result of the incident, Labonte set out to correct the problem, meeting with former crew chief Jimmy Makar one evening at the Joe Gibbs Racing shop. "He told me that he crawled in the car, buckled himself in and then told Jimmy to turn off the lights," Auton said. "He started to get out of the car and … hooked himself on something. So he stopped and told Jimmy to turn on the lights. They adjusted some things he crawled back in the car, buckled back in, turned off the lights. Started to come out again, got hooked on something, stopped, turned on lights, adjusted that, sat back down … and he came out of the car. "He said he tried that two or three times just to make sure he knew where everything was in the car." Makar, now senior vice president of racing operations at JGR, said the biggest issue for the driver was the bars inside the car and locating the window release on the right side. "You have to crawl over them and you have to find the window release; that was hard to do," Makar said. “When you're in a panic and trying to do it, it's not intuitive. "Crawling over those bars is hard enough, but those two things combined, that was something that he said on his own that 'we need to figure this out. I need to be able to do this better.' "Most of the stuff that’s in the way is stuff that has to be there. The bars, the way the seats are with the headrest, it makes it very hard to get through that space. "It's just a matter of figuring you the best way to maneuver yourself, headfirst or feet first, what part is first? And that was mostly it, just doing it. And not having to do it in a panic the first time." Auton relates the importance of being able to exit the vehicle from the right side each time he oversees a rookie meeting where the right-side windows are required (all tracks 1.5 miles or larger). Locks are attached to a strap that, when pulled from the inside, release the window. "The driver can take it out from the inside or the safety teams or crews can take it off from the outside," Auton said. "… We don't want it locked to where the driver can't have access to remove it." "Most think you just crawl in your car and you drive it and you don't worry about nothing. We try to explain to them that it's as important getting out of your car as it is getting in it. Because there might be that one time that you need to go out the right side." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Runner-up showing at Charlotte is first top five of season for the No. 16 Ford RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings CONCORD, N.C. -- It's been a while since Greg Biffle has felt like this -- according to him, about a year. But the driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 Ford was pleased, albeit in a bittersweet way, with his second-place finish in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Biffle netted his first top five of the season in what he said has been a well-documented slow start for him and his RFR teammates. So forgive Biffle if he felt like the monkey was finally off his back -- even if it meant losing to former teammate Carl Edwards in the process. "It's kind of funny because I decided if I finished in the top 10 tonight I was gonna stand on the door top and be all excited and cheer," Biffle said, "and I finished second and I'm not happy. The thing is we ran in the top 10 all night. The car was good and had a lot of speed. That was a huge improvement." Improvement was good for a driver with an average finish of 20.5 in 2015, his worst mark since becoming a full-time driver in the Sprint Cup Series in 2003. To get Biffle's last top-five finish, you'd have to go back to the 2014 GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway . And in the 26 races between Pocono and Charlotte, Biffle managed only six top-10 finishes. Sunday was a bit of the old Biffle, the driver who has won 19 times on the premier level. He even showed some spunk while engaging in a fuel-mileage battle with Edwards in the final laps. "You know, I was putting a lot of pressure on Carl there," Biffle said. "I started going with about 10 laps to go. The crew chief (Matt Puccia) told me 'save all you can, just stay in front of the 88,' and I made a decision that I was going to try to beat Carl." With two laps to go, the fuel light came on indicating the fuel pressure was low, so Biffle said he had to preserve the rest of way. Luckily for Biffle, his desire to beat Carl didn't come back to haunt him. "Yeah, well, we knew that Carl was going to try and make it, and certainly nobody knows whether you've got enough gas," Biffle said. "I was sure hoping and praying that he would be about a lap short because, you know, we've lost a few -- everybody has lost a few -- like that." As far as whether Sunday's showing proved that the slow start was behind him, Biffle refused to go that far. But he was feeling optimistic about the road ahead. "I've got a couple of trophies from (Dover)," Biffle said. "We run good there. ... You know Michigan is kind of -- I've got it circled now on my calendar -- because if we've got speed on these kind of tracks back again, that's a good race track for us. So we'll see how we stack up." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
David Ragan discusses the aggression drivers need to get good restarts at Pocono Raceway and the techniques they use to get going when the green flag drops.
From a solar farm to the unique Victory Lane, count down the peculiar qualities of Pocono
Turner Scott Motorsports driver will lead field to green in Pocono Mountains 150 (1 p.m. ET, FS1)
Take a virtual lap around Pocono Raceway .
Junior: 'It's only a 50-lap race so it would be over and done before I even do it' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live As an owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr . ran his first Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway with Cole Custer finishing 16th. When will he make his debut as a driver in the series? He may have given a hint during the FOX Sports 1 "Setup" pre-race show when feature reporter Ray Dunlap mentioned that Pocono Raceway hosts the series on August 1 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). "That would be an opportunity for me to get in there and get my feet wet," Earnhardt said. "It's only a 50-lap race so it would be over and done before I even do it. "I do have interest in driving a truck. I've always had interest in driving a truck, just never really found that opportunity or was focused more on the Cup side at that point in time. But this does open the door a little wide for me. If we don't do it this year, we're going to continue to keep the truck around and work with this program and continue to try to grow it." Serving as an analyst, two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Todd Bodine said Pocono "absolutely" would be a good place for Earnhardt to get behind the wheel. "He's not going to own a race car or race truck that he doesn't get to drive, and you heard him say that he's wanted to drive a truck so it's a perfect opportunity if you own it," Bodine said. Earnhardt recalled his father's Dale Earnhardt Inc. Truck Series team that won two of the first four championships in series history with Ron Hornaday Jr . "I have a lot of great memories of that team," Earnhardt said. "We actually worked in the same shop together, and it had two bays in the back. They were in one bay, and I was across from them in another bay building my Late Model cars that I'd run at Myrtle Beach. I was in there every day, watching them and sort of mimicking them as they built their first truck. I did everything they were doing to my Late Model that they would do to that truck. "I formed a great relationship and friendship with Ron Hornaday so that was pretty cool to be able to forge that relationship early with him." As Earnhardt builds his own Truck team for 17-year-old Custer, he's helping the NASCAR Next driver and sponsor Haas Automation achieve their objectives while JRM is meeting its own milestones. "Their goals are to get Cole into the XFINITY Series at some point so this was an opportunity to begin a relationship with us," Earnhardt said. "It made sense to get into the Truck Series. "For me, it's actually exciting because it's a 10-race deal. You're just kind of getting your feet wet. It's a great way to ease into it so we had the room. We had the interest. They had the program already together, the relationship with Chevrolet. We made it work." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 scheduled for June 7 RELATED: Buy tickets Pocono Raceway announced Tuesday that the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of its season will get a winning paint job from a sponsor that has coated championship cars. The track's longtime partner, Axalta Coating Systems, entered into a multi-year entitlement agreement which includes the June 7 race held at 'The Tricky Triangle' as the Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400. "We are very excited to share this great news, in cooperation with everyone at Axalta Coating Systems," Pocono Raceway President/CEO Brandon Igdalsky said. "They have been a great addition to the Pocono Raceway family, and we look forward to growing this relationship in 2015 and beyond. "What makes this even more special is the fact we get to work hand-in-hand with a true global powerhouse who also calls the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 'home.'" Based in Philadelphia, Axalta has sponsored Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon throughout his career, initially under the DuPont banner. Gordon holds the record for wins at Pocono with six. "Axalta is proud of its 22-year motorsports partnership," Axalta Vice President and head of its North America business, Nigel Budden said. "As a leader in the U.S. refinish business, our paint graces race cars that burn rubber on the track each season and we proudly support four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon . "Now, we are pleased to expand our racing involvement as Pocono Raceway 's title sponsor of the upcoming race on June 7. We look forward to cheering on Gordon as he vies for a seventh win at Pocono Raceway ." Axalta Coating Systems is "The Official Finish" of Hendrick and Stewart-Haas Racing , the two most recent Sprint Cup championship organizations. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Winner played fuel-strategy game to notch first NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze win
Matthew Dillner takes you inside the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Garage before the Pocono 400 at the Tricky Triangle, otherwise known as Pocono Raceway .