Photo Credit: Gary Buchanan
The tricks of the triangle certainly played havoc on some of the favorites for victory. In reality it played havoc on the one driver many expected to be victorious.
It appeared that Jimmie Johnson had everything in his favor. Pole position was his, and the car was handling incredible. But just before halfway, a Goodyear tire let go. Out of turn 1 his No. 48 hit the wall, and despite great efforts to repair the car, not to mention reattach a spark plug wire, he was only able to get back to 13th.
At the same time, his teammates decided to get down to business, and in the end a teammate battle was what everyone got.
It was Kasey Kahne against the birthday boy, Jeff Gordon. The two went at it for two restarts, with Gordon taking the first one. But the second time around, Kahne showed the heart and the determination to make his car stick when it mattered most. A gutsy pass on the outside in turn 1 propelled him to the top, and he never looked back.
After not even seeing the green flag in June, Kahne would finally see the checkered flag in August, winning his second race at Pocono and second race of the year.
Not only that, but the current points leader decided to make the right call and achieved his second win of the season. Half the field would end up outside the top-10, and it has caused the points to be closer in some areas. Meanwhile, the points lead has extended, and with the Chase looming, wins and positions are critical.
Here's how the standings stand following the GoBowling.com 400:
Rob Tiongson (751) Kasey Kahne WON (2)
Patti Rodisch (722) Jimmie Johnson finished 13th (0)
Kelly Crandall (695) Jimmie Johnson finished 13th (1)
Sal Sigala Jr. (688) Jimmie Johnson finished 13th (1)
Billy Fellin (686) Kurt Busch finished 3rd (1)
Michael Hirshbein (673) Kyle Busch finished 8th (2)
Rob Blount (653) Jimmie Johnson finished 13th (1)
Dustin Parks (637) Tony Stewart finished 9th (0)
Kara Martin (603) Tony Stewart finished 9th (0)
Ryan O'Hara (597) Jimmie Johnson finished 13th (0)
James Broomhead (579) Matt Kenseth finished 22nd (1)
Misan Akuya (562) Jimmie Johnson finished 13th (1)
Christopher Leone (463) Jeff Gordon finished 2nd (0)
Next Race: There was a lot of moments Sunday where twists and turns changed the course of action. Ironically, twists and turns are what everyone can expect next week because that's how the track is set up. It's time to tame another road less traveled.
Up next on the schedule is the only other road course for Cup competition this season, Watkins Glen International. Known for being fast, often turbulent, the road to victory will be 90 laps of lefts and rights.
Writers, don't make a wrong turn and wind up in the gravel trap. Have your picks for the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen submitted by Thursday, August 8, by 10 p.m. ET.