Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 8/5/12

LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 03: NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. speaks during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions Week NMPA Myers Brothers Awards at the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino on December 3, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Despite transmission woes Sunday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. retained the NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead with a 32nd-place finish in the rain-shortened race at Pocono Raceway. Earnhardt developed transmission problems 50 laps into the Pennsylvania 400. However, a late-race accident between Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth, which knocked Kenseth from second to 23rd seven laps before the event was called because of rain, enabled the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team to retain a five-point advantage over Kenseth in the standings. Junior led 17 of the first 48 laps, then had trouble after his second pit stop. After Earnhardt told the crew his car had a tight handling condition, his team changed four tires and made a track bar adjustment. Earnhardt was barely up to speed when he warned crew chief Steve Letarte that the car had "no third, no fourth" gear. Letarte repled, "Yeah, that's not going to work . . . go to the garage." "We don't have third or fourth gear so we have to change the transm...
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