NASCAR 400 at Pocono Raceway Prerace Notes

By Brian Berg Jr.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Pocono Raceway for the second time this season. This time the race is the 400.

Jimmie Johnson dominated this race in the spring and would love to continue it this weekend. Johnson has a commanding lead in the standings and is quite simply just looking to win races because race wins lead to bonus points. Those bonus points are the only thing that he can take with him into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The rest of the field needs to worry because Jimmie Johnson set a new track record and won the Coors Light Pole Award.  He will lead the field to green. They especially need to worry because the last time Jimmie set a new track qualifying record he won the race at Martinsville Speedway. This just might be the weekend of Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson’s pole win irked Kyle Busch who will start the race second because Johnson’s team was slow to get through inspection and ended up qualifying later in the session than they were supposed to. Kyle will have to show their team on the track that it doesn’t matter.

Denny Hamlin has the best driver rating at this track and has typically in the past factored into this race. His season has not gone as planned. He will be a driver to watch as he tries to make something of his lost season.

Both practices on Saturday were rained out. Those drivers who were not able to get their car just right in the one and only practice on Friday will be even further behind than they expected. This will favor most of the drivers who will be starting the race in the top ten, especially Jimmie Johnson. It is a long race and there will be plenty opportunities to adjust the car but probably not many to get back lost track position. This will be a key factor in the race.

Country music singer Eric Lee Beddingfield will perform the National Anthem.

As of this writing no drivers have made unapproved changes so none are starting at the back.

There is a slight chance of rain at Long Pond PA but it is not expected to be a factor for the race.

If you cannot get to the Pocono Raceway for the 400 it will be broadcast on ESPN starting at 12 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary, or on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.

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