Found August 03, 2012 on Race Review Online:

IMG 0306For the second and final time of the 2012 season, the Sprint Cup Series heads north to the Poconos for 400 miles on the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway. The "Tricky Triangle" shortened both of its races from 500 miles to 400 this year, but the story remains the same in Victory Lane—there's a good chance that Joe Gibbs Racing will be there.

Since 2001, JGR cars have scored seven Pocono wins, four of which belong to Denny Hamlin. The most recent came in June, when Joey Logano passed Mark Martin to break into victory lane for the first time in nearly three years in spite of an uncertain future with the team. There's still a good chance that Gibbs will replace Logano with Matt Kenseth in 2013, but the win spurred Logano's run into Chase for the Sprint Cup contention and makes him one of the most attractive free agents in the sport.

Last year's August race winner was Brad Keselowski, and at ninth in points, he's shown the ability to run up front and do it again. After injuring his ankle in a road course testing accident, Keselowski used last August, particularly his Pocono win, to propel himself into Chase position and prove himself a title contender. Keselowski has three wins thus far this season, tied for most in the series.

Pocono should prove an interesting battle ground for the top two drivers in points, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. attempts to extend his 14 point lead over Kenseth. Neither driver has ever won at Pocono, and the statistics show somewhat of a wash between them; in 25 starts apiece, Earnhardt Jr. has five top five finishes to Kenseth's three, but Kenseth's average finish of 13.9 beats Earnhardt Jr.'s 16.7.

But if you're looking at Pocono solely based on average finish, your pick for the weekend is simple: Jimmie Johnson. Hamlin may have four wins, but Johnson's average finish of 8.8 is best of all active drivers at the triangular racetrack. Coming off of his record-tying fourth Brickyard 400 win last weekend, it shouldn't be a surprise if Johnson starts a little winning streak before the start of the Chase.


Sweeping Pocono could boost Logano

Joey Logano burst on to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series scene full time in 2009, an 18-year old racing prodigy already hailed as "Sliced Bread" -- as in, "The best thing since . . . " Instead, he's in danger of getting stale after 3-1/2 mostly underwhelming years at the sport's top level, where, he has discovered, there's a big difference between getting...

Joey Logano Media Transcript

THE MODERATOR:  We welcome Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.  He currently sits 17th in the NASCAR Cup Series pointing standings, and he won at Pocono Raceway during the series’ first visit to the ‘Tricky Triangle’ this year on June 10, putting him in prime position for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup wild-card berth and is currently...

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For the first time since his rookie season, Joey Logano will be pulling into the track with a bulls-eye on his back.  Logano comes into this weekend’s Pennsylvania 400 as the defending winner at Pocono when the 22-year-old picked up his second-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at the “tricky triangle” on June 10.  Logano put together the most impressive run of his four...

Top teams can change approach now

One of the guys I really want to watch this weekend in Pocono Raceway is the June winner there, Joey Logano. I want to see if he can stand up against probably about five guys who are going to be hard to beat there. On top of all that, if Joey could pull off the Pocono sweep by winning both NASCAR Sprint Cup races there this year, it makes a big statement to Joe Gibbs Racing. Joey...

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CORNELIUS, N.C.—   No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin’s last visit to Pocono Raceway might have been his best performance in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Martin made a daring pass on a restart to take the lead with just seven laps left in the track’s first 400-mile race. Joey Logano retook the top spot with three to go and beat Martin to the finish...
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