Thirteen. In the last 36 races held at Pocono, a current Hendrick Motorsports driver has won 13 of them. Since the fall of 2012—a five-race stretch—no driver outside of the Hendrick stable has driven to Victory Lane at the track.
Unlike Dover where just Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon have claimed the last four races, all four cars have won. Prior to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s sweep last season, it was Kasey Kahne and Johnson who took them in 2013 and Gordon who won in the fall of 2012.
What does all of this mean? Well, that Pocono is Hendrick Heaven.
Sure, there are drivers like Denny Hamlin (four wins at Pocono) and Kurt Busch (two wins and Sunday’s pole), but one of them has to knock Hendrick off the throne. With five wins already this season for Hendrick, that doesn’t seem likely.
The best driver at Pocono over the last two years has been Junior, who features a 118.8 driver’s rating in that span. That stretch has included four straight top-five finishes with an average starting position of 12th. Given the fact that he’s starting 20th on Sunday, his place and pass differential should be through the roof.
Owners looking for a win need to look no further than Hendrick. Whether it’s Gordon, Kahne, Johnson or Junior, Sunday should be another productive afternoon for the powerhouse team.
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