NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 500 | Pocono Raceway Open Race Thread

Updated – 1:37pm ET – Rain has delayed the start of the Pennsylvania 500. The green flag will now drop at 1:50 ET.

Updated – 6:07am ET – Rain may delay the start of Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500. Current forecasts predict thunderstorms with a 60% chance of rain. Pocono Raceway does not have lights and we could be looking at a Monday start.

 

With just six races left before the Chase for the Championship, Pocono could be the deciding race for many in 2010.

There are currently five drivers who are within 156 points of the Chase cutoff and each of them are digging deep to find victory lane today in Long Pond. The best bet of this group has to be Jamie McMurray who is coming off his second win of 2010 at Indianapolis and is riding a season-high wave of momentum.

Mark Martin is currently 13th in points, just 62 markers out of the Chase, and after winning six races in 2009, the #5 is due.

Dale Earnhardt Jr (-93), Ryan Newman (-147) and Kasey Khane (-156) round out the Playoff hopefuls.

News, notes and a starting lineup can be found after the jump!

 

Called the ‘Tricky Triangle’ for it’s odd shape and difficult corners, Pocono Raceway will actually drive a lot like last week’s Brickyard 400. Expect several Indy contenders to again fight for the lead in today’s race.

Leading the charge has to be Denny Hamlin. No driver has Pocono figured out more than Hamlin who in nine races, has four wins, six top-fives and an 8.6 average finish. The last stat leads all Sprint Cup as does his Pocono driver rating of 119.1. Hamlin will start today’s race in third and should immediately find himself in a position to lead laps.

Juan Pablo Montoya captured his second consecutive front row start on Friday and should top the shortlist of possible winners for today’s race. For the second straight year Juan Pablo led the most laps at Indianapolis and was cost another Indy win by choosing four fresh tires rather than two.

Montoya was mired in traffic over the course of the final run and brought out the last caution after making contact with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Montoya came to Pocono with something to prove and that chip could net his second career Cup Series victory.

Expect the usual suspects of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart to secure the rest of the top-five with Carl Edwards (98.5 driver rating) a possible dark horse.

Pre-race coverage will be provided by ESPN2 Countdown (11ET) and SPEED Raceday (10ET). Live race coverage will air on ESPN starting at 1 p.m./ET. Green flag is set for 1:15 with Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree providing the call.

Starting Line Up by Row
Pocono Raceway
The Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 (37th Running)
Provided by NASCAR Statistics – Fri, July 30, 2010 @ 05:31 PM Eastern
Track Race Record: Rusty Wallace 07/21/96 03:27:03 144.892
Row Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1 1 14 Tony Stewart Office Depot / Old Spice Chevrolet 52.511 171.393
2 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet 52.602 171.096
2 3 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 52.826 170.371
4 24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevrolet 52.872 170.222
3 5 39 Ryan Newman U.S.Army Chevrolet 52.961 169.936
6 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Chevrolet 52.972 169.901
4 7 43 A J Allmendinger Insignia HDTV Ford 52.979 169.879
8 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet 53.013 169.770
5 9 1 Jamie McMurray AXE Twist Chevrolet 53.036 169.696
10 5 Mark Martin Hendrickcars.com / GoDaddy.com Chevrolet 53.062 169.613
6 11 12 Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 53.084 169.543
12 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 53.114 169.447
7 13 2 Kurt Busch Miller Lite / Vortex Dodge 53.116 169.440
14 29 Kevin Harvick Shell / Pennzoil Chevrolet 53.203 169.163
8 15 77 Sam Hornish Jr. PPG / Olympic Dodge 53.216 169.122
16 9 Kasey Kahne Budweiser Ford 53.223 169.100
9 17 20 Joey Logano Home Depot Toyota 53.247 169.024
18 6 David Ragan UPS Ford 53.256 168.995
10 19 47 Marcos Ambrose Clorox / Kleenex Toyota 53.349 168.700
20 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMP Energy / National Guard Chevrolet 53.358 168.672
11 21 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Toyota 53.359 168.669
22 71 Bobby Labonte TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet 53.380 168.602
12 23 98 Paul Menard CertainTeed / Menards Ford 53.440 168.413
24 00 David Reutimann Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota 53.455 168.366
13 25 99 Carl Edwards Aflac Ford 53.461 168.347
26 17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Ford 53.478 168.294
14 27 82 Scott Speed Red Bull Toyota 53.545 168.083
28 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 53.587 167.951
15 29 19 Elliott Sadler Air Force Ford 53.631 167.813
30 46 J J Yeley Cash America Dodge 53.690 167.629
16 31 83 Reed Sorenson Red Bull Toyota 53.773 167.370
32 38 Travis Kvapil Long John Silver’s Ford 53.786 167.330
17 33 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 53.842 167.156
34 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 53.896 166.988
18 35 09 Landon Cassill Phoenix Construction Chevrolet 53.896 166.988
36 55 Michael McDowell PRISM Motorsports Toyota 53.899 166.979
19 37 37 David Gilliland Gander Mountain Ford 54.068 166.457
38 66 Dave Blaney PRISM Motorsports Toyota 54.089 166.392
20 39 36 Casey Mears Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 54.112 166.322
40 33 Clint Bowyer The Hartford Chevrolet 54.377 165.511
21 41 34 Kevin Conway # Extenze Ford Owner Points
42 7 P J Jones SpeedFactory.TV Toyota Owner Points
22 43 64 Todd Bodine FRED’s Hometown Discount Store Toyota 54.127 166.276

 

Did Not Qualify: # 26 David Stremme; # 13 Max Papis.
Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs
Chevrolet 15 0 Ford 11 1