Winners And Losers – Pocono Edition
Posted by: Dave Thompson, follow @phillyfan17
June 12, 2012
Joey Logano – There have been plenty of rumblings over the last several weeks about Logano’s future with Joe Gibbs Racing with his performance, not up to expectations. Logano may have temporarily silenced the critics after winning the pole on Friday and more importantly winning the Pocono 400 on Sunday. The win snapped a 104 race winless streak, but Logano will need to be consistent, and perhaps even make the Chase, before his future with JGR is secure.
Pocono Raceway – One of the best moves for Pocono was to shorten the race from 500 to 400 miles. The reduction created a greater sense of urgency early in the race aided by all the pit road penalties handed out. The repaving project was a success which led to speeds close to 210 mph down the frontstetch with more passing than expected. A majority of fans claimed this was the most exciting race thus far in 2012.
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson started 24th on Sunday, but dug and even deeper hole with two speeding penalties on pit road. No problem for the No. 48 team. Johnson overcame all the setbacks to finish fourth and turn a lousy day into a good day.
Kyle Busch – Engine problems forced Busch out of the race for the second consecutive week which is not the direction to be in heading into the second half of the season. His back-to-back finishes of 29th at Dover and 30th at Pocono, Busch has now dropped to 12th in the standings.
Mark Martin – Hard to place Martin in the losers column when he finished in second-place this week, but he had the win in hand and let it slip away. He led with five laps remaining and was unable close the deal. In fairness to Martin, Logano did give him the bump-and-run to slip by for the lead, but there has to be some disappointment being so close to a win and finishing second.
A.J. Allmendinger – Allmendinger has fallen on hard-times with this week being his latest disappointment. On Sunday, Allmendinger posted his first DNF of the season after a hard wreck sent him to the garage for the afternoon. He finished in 31st, but even more discouraging is the fact he now has six finishes of 30th or worse. With three of those finishes in the past four races, he now finds himself 25th in points. Do not be surprised if rumors of his future increase if his performance continues to decline.