Race Recap: Pocono II

Greg Biffle and Sam Hornish Jr. prepare to duel for the win on the final restart. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Red flags, rain and pit tactics provided viewers with an exciting finish to Sunday’s race at Pocono. With 40-ish laps to go, Jeff Gordon seemingly had the race in the bag, but a caution flag for rain prompted numerous cars to scramble for track position on pit road. Gordon took four tires, but a number of cars took two, some took none and Sam Hornish Jr. didn’t even pit! Greg Biffle eventually got around Hornish with his two new tires for the win.

My picks were pretty strong but fared so-so:

    1. Jimmie Johnson: He led the most laps when the track was hot, but when it cooled down, his car tailed off, and for the second week in a row, the 48 team had trouble improving the car. He finished 10th.
    2. Jeff Burton: At his best, Burton seemed to have roughly the #3 car, but he never seemed to be a threat to win. He finished 8th.
    3. Denny Hamlin: By his own admission afterward, Hamlin didn’t have the best car yesterday, but he did have a very good car. He finished 5th.
    4. Kevin Harvick: As he’s done most of this year, Harvick inched his way forward all day in a strong but not overpowering car. He finished 4th.
    5. Juan Pablo Montoya: The 42 was good in clean air but had a little trouble back in traffic, which he has most of this year. He finished 16.

      Surprise of the Day
      My surprise of the day, Jeff Gordon, wasn’t really a surprise because I rated him #6 going into the race. When the track was cool, he was Johnson’s bridesmaid, but when the track cooled the 24 became the car to beat.

      On to the road course at Watkins Glen, N.Y.!