Travis Pastrana spins twice, Robert Richardson Jr .'s engine goes up in a fireball and Denny Hamlin has to change his carburetor.
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
Ricky Stenhouse Jr . slams into the back end of Sam Hornish Jr . entering Turn 1 as the No. 9 has a problem.
Martin Truex Jr . talks about his hopes of repeating the magic he found the first time around and winning again at Pocono Raceway.
Robert Richardson Jr . spins in an early wreck causing Johanna Long to lose control on the front stretch in the History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Cautions foiled the No. 88 team's strategy in the Brickyard 400 RELATED: Power Rankings after Indianapolis " How all 43 drivers fared at the Brickyard Sunday's annual NASCAR stop at Indianapolis Motor Speedway had a Murphy's Law quality to it for Dale Earnhardt Jr . But the 40-year-old driver, while frustrated, said that in the grand scheme of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup points system, the run of Brickyard bad luck barely matters. Earnhardt described the set of circumstances that led to an unsavory 22nd-place finish at Indy in a sigh-filled Tuesday edition of the "Dale Jr . Download" podcast on Dirty Mo Radio. "Not a lot of fun out there," was the sentiment after a late pit-road mishap then a spin after contact with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne -- all with less than 20 laps remaining. "With several laps to go, we were sitting out there in 16th or so and we were going to come down pit road and get four tires," Earnhardt told Dirty Mo Radio. "I don't know, we didn't. The reason is because who the hell cares where we finish if we can't win the race. I mean, we were going to come down pit road in 16th place. A lot of guys around us pitted and we were going to get four tires and come out probably ... we might beat two guys, we might lose two spots, what the hell ever. So it was a wash in my opinion." Earnhardt did enter pit road in 16th place, but left in 22nd after an air-gun failure slowed his stop for service, leaving his No. 88 Chevrolet team only able to change two tires instead of four. Earnhardt recovered from that and his slight brush with the Turn 1 wall to stay on the lead lap. With two regular-season victories in hand and his spot in the Chase playoffs assured thanks to the points format instituted ahead of the 2014 season, Earnhardt was able to shrug off the disappointment more easily ahead of Sunday's Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) at Pocono Raceway. "With the old system, you would do everything you could to get the best finish you could," Earnhardt said, "and that might mean forgoing the win and (saying), 'Hey man, if we do everything X, Y and Z and get lucky on the restarts, we might run 10th or we might finish eighth,' like some of those guys that we were racing with. But who damn cares about that? I'm sitting in 16th with 20-some laps to go, a lot of guys behind me are coming for tires. Do I want to be the last guy on old tires? No. I don't want to get eaten up by new tires, get in the wrong line on the restart and get screwed and not be competitive and not be on the offense. "We've got two wins, we're in the Chase, so what the hell's it matter between 10th and 20th? Who cares? If we do everything right, we finish 10th. If we don't do everything right, we finish 20th, but it's a wash either way. Doesn't even matter with this points system." Earnhardt bemoaned the sequence of yellow flags at Indianapolis and how the No. 88 team's strategy was adversely affected. Still, he championed the power of creative thinking from atop the pit box -- a resource that crew chief Greg Ives will have to employ this weekend at Pocono, where short-pitting, targeting fuel windows and other pit strategies frequently come into play. "The way this system works, you just go win, and if you can't win, do what everybody else ain't doing," Earnhardt said. "Do something different. Try something different. The same-ol', same-ol' is just going to get you the same boring-ass result." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Reigning Sprint Cup champ won 2011 event at the Tricky Triangle BUY TICKETS: Pocono Kevin Harvick will return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the first time in two years when he pilots the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the Pocono Mountains 150 on August 1. In his only previous Pocono Raceway start in the series, Harvick won the 2011 edition of this race after leading 44 of 53 laps in a Kevin Harvick Inc. vehicle. His last start in the series came in 2013 at Martinsville. "I'm excited to be back in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with JRM at Pocono Raceway," Harvick said in a team release. "A lot has changed at Pocono with the repave, but I was fortunate enough to find Victory Lane in my last Truck Series start there and I hope we can do the same thing this time around with the Haas Automation Chevrolet." JRM made its series debut this season, fielding a Silverado for 17-year-old Cole Custer , who earned his first win with JRM and second career victory last month at Gateway Motorsports Park. Drivers must be 18 years of age or older to run national series tracks greater than a mile in length so Custer must wait until next season to run full time after his 18th birthday on Jan. 23. He will return to the No. 00 next month at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne earned the first victory for JRM's Truck program in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he beat Erik Jones by .005 seconds for the second-closest finish in series history. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Kasey Kahne make contact sending Earnhardt through the grass and into the wall.
When Kasey Kahne goes three-wide, Reed Sorenson gets squeezed up in to Robert Richarson Jr . and the two wreck hard in Turn 2.
See who will be on track at Homestead in the final Nationwide Series race RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 01 Landon Cassill Johnny Davis Dave Fuge 14 Chevrolet Flex Seal 2 2 Brian Scott Richard Childress Phil Gould 14 Chevrolet Shore Lodge 3 3 Ty Dillon Richard Childress Danny Stockman Jr 14 Chevrolet WESCO 4 4 Jeffrey Earnhardt Gary Keller Gary Cogswell 14 Chevrolet GCL/Polyglass 5 5 Josh Berry Rick Hendrick Ernie Cope 14 Chevrolet Ragu 6 6 Trevor Bayne Jack Roush Chad Norris 14 Ford AdvoCare 7 7 Regan Smith Kelley Earnhardt-Miller Ryan Pemberton 14 Chevrolet TaxSlayer.com 8 9 Chase Elliott Dale Earnhardt Jr Greg Ives 14 Chevrolet NAPA AUTO PARTS 9 10 Ross Chastain(i) Mark Smith Bruce Cook 14 Toyota watermelon.org 10 11 Elliott Sadler J D Gibbs Chris Gayle 14 Toyota OneMain Financial 11 12 Ryan Blaney(i) Roger Penske Greg Erwin 14 Ford Discount Tire 12 14 Eric McClure Mark Smith Wes Ward 14 Toyota Hefty Ultimate / Reynolds Wrap 13 16 Ryan Reed Jack Roush Seth Barbour 14 Ford ADA Drive to Stop Diabetes presented by Lilly Diabetes 14 17 Tanner Berryhill Adrian Berryhill Daniel Stillman 14 Toyota New Gulf Resources 15 19 Mike Bliss Mark Smith Paul Clapprood 14 Toyota Tweaker Energy Shot 16 20 Matt Kenseth(i) Joe Gibbs Kevin Kidd 14 Toyota GameStop 17 22 Brad Keselowski(i) Roger Penske Jeremy Bullins 14 Ford Hertz 18 23 Robert Richardson Jr Robert Richardson Sr George Church 14 Chevrolet TBD 19 25 John Wes Townley(i) Tony Townley Mike Ford 14 Toyota No. 25 Zaxby's Toyota 20 226 Jake Crum(i) Marc Browning Marc Browning 14 Chevrolet MyFreedomSmokes.com 21 28 J J Yeley James Whitener Steve Plattenberger 13 Dodge Texas 28 Spirits Stage 22 31 Dylan Kwasniewski Steve Turner Shannon Rursch 14 Chevrolet Rockstar / AccuDoc 23 33 Scott Lagasse Jr Richard Childress Nick Harrison 14 Chevrolet Grainger 24 36 TBA Beth Baldwin Zach McGowan 14 Chevrolet Accell / East West 25 39 Ryan Sieg Rod Sieg Kevin Starland 14 Chevrolet Huntinator 26 40 Matt Dibenedetto Curtis Key Sr Kyle Symington 14 Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 27 42 Kyle Larson(i) Harry Scott Jr Scott Zipadelli 14 Chevrolet Cartwheel by Target 28 43 Dakoda Armstrong Richard Petty Philippe Lopez 14 Ford WinField 29 44 Blake Koch Mark Smith Greg Conner 14 Toyota Celsius Flo Fusion 30 46 Ryan Ellis Curtis Key Sr Gary Showalter 14 Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 31 51 Jeremy Clements Tony Clements Ricky Pearson 14 Chevrolet All South Electric- Repairable Vehicals 32 52 Joey Gase Jimmy Means Tim Brown 14 Chevrolet TBA 33 54 Kyle Busch(i) J D Gibbs Adam Stevens 14 Toyota Monster Energy 34 55 David Starr Jimmy Dick Jason Miller 14 Chevrolet Niece Eqiupment 35 60 Chris Buescher Jack Roush Scott Graves 14 Ford Humalog 36 62 Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Shane Wilson 14 Chevrolet South Point 37 70 Derrike Cope Mary Louise Miller Bobby Burrell 14 Chevrolet Charlie's Soap/YOUTHEORY 38 172 John Jackson James Carter Richard Garcia 14 Chevrolet Crash Claims R US 39 74 Kevin Lepage Mike Harmon Gary Ritter 12 Dodge MHR 40 87 Milka Duno Andrea Nemechek Steven Gray 14 Toyota CAN TV 41 190 Martin Roy Michelle Gosselin Mario Gosselin 14 Chevrolet Gamache Truck Center 42 91 Jeff Green Mark Smith Todd Myers 14 Toyota SupportMilitary.org 43 93 Kevin Swindell Gregg Mixon Ken Evans 13 Dodge JGL Racing 44 98 Corey LaJoie(i) Fred Biagi Jon Hanson 14 Ford Medallion Financial/Smithfield 45 99 James Buescher Robby Benton Matthew Lucas 14 Toyota Rheem MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView