Motivated Johnson no match for NASCAR field in Pocono

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Party in the Poconos 400
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<p> Reaction from Jimmie Johnson's dominant win in NASCAR's Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway.</p>

A five-time champion in their respective sport is rarely in need of motivation. So when you hand it to them on a silver platter, whatever the reason, you better hide yourself inside a bunker and hope for the best. After Dover’s fluky finish a week ago, where a restart penalty all but took a win away from Jimmie Johnson, something inside the 37-year-old snapped. Struggling to hold his tongue on several occasions, it was clear “Mr. Politically Correct” felt NASCAR made the wrong call, robbing him of what would be a record-setting Dover performance.

Jimmie Johnson: Pocono Party Pooper

Johnson dominates Party in the Poconos 400, extends NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead.
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<p> Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway.</p>

Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 Lowe’s team showed up to Pocono Raceway with something to prove.

After being penalized for jumping a restart the previous weekend in the 400-miler at Dover that cost the team a victory, Johnson was all business as the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit hit Pocono’s quirky, 2.5-mile layout.

Pocono Key to Denny Hamlin's NASCAR Chase Hopes

Geoffrey Miller's Five Things to Watch at Pocono
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<p> Geoffrey Miller highlights the five storylines to follow as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Pocono Raceway.</p>

1. Denny Hamlin needs Pocono more than ever
A crash last Sunday at Dover International Speedway after a flat tire dented Denny Hamlin's hope of a strong run and probably didn't feel the best for a guy just weeks removed from a pretty serious back injury. Hamlin, however, seems to be worried about one thing: Making the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

10 Memorable NASCAR Moments at Pocono Raceway

Fantasy NASCAR Picks for Pocono Raceway

Picking the best Sprint Cup fantasy drivers at Pocono so you don't have to.
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<p> Fantasy NASCAR tips for the Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway.</p>

To help guide you through the 2013 Fantasy NASCAR season, Athlon Sports contributor Geoffrey Miller will be offering his best predictions for each race. And because Yahoo's Fantasy Auto Racing game is arguably the most popular, he’ll break down the picks according to its NASCAR driver classes — A-List, B-List, C-List. The main picks are designed to make optimal use of Yahoo!’s 9-start maximum rule over the course of the season. The “also consider” section ranks unmentioned driver strictly by expected result without consideration of start limitations.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 6 Amazing Stats for Pocono

David Smith crunches the numbers for the Party in the Poconos 400
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<p> David Smith crunches the numbers and finds the key NASCAR stats for the Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway.</p>

Dover International Speedway, a high-banked one-mile concrete oval, and Pocono Raceway, a 2.5-mile asphalt triangle with three wildly different corners, are two tracks that shouldn’t warrant much comparison.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Who comprises NASCAR's Dream Team?
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<p> In the spirit of the Olympics, Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council discuss NASCAR's Dream Team, grade Pocono and talk about Jeff Gordon's Chase chances.</p>

Throughout the Olympics one often hears about a “Dream Team’’ in one sport or another. So what about NASCAR?

Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council were asked if they were an owner with four teams and could pick any Cup driver in any era, who would be the four for their Dream Team? Their picks proved quite interesting.

They also debated Jeff Gordon’s chances of making the Chase and Sunday’s Pocono race. Here’s what Fan Council members had to say:

Triumph and Tragedy in NASCAR

Gordon breaks winless skid; lightning strike mars events at Pocono
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<p> Jeff Gordon scored the win in Sunday's NASCAR Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway, but the triumph was overshadowed by tragedy, when a fan was killed after being struck by lightning in the facility's parking lot.</p>

The Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway was dominated, once again, by Jimmie Johnson, yet the conclusion of the race hatched more storylines than one could count:

“Johnson blows lead, hands win to Jeff Gordon.”

“Gordon breaks 31-race winless skid in unlikely fashion.”

“Gordon, Gustafson celebrate wins and birthdays at Pocono.”

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Pocono

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Pennsylvania 400
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkorses for your Fantasy NASCAR team as the series heads to Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 400.</p>

This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the Pocono Mountains for the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. When the series last hit the 2.5-mile oval in June, it was Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano that went to Victory Lane, leading 49 of the 160 laps and moving veteran Mark Martin out of the lead in the closing laps.

#NASCAR & #Twitter? OMG! and Jerry Springer coming to Cup?

Backseat Drivers Fan Council
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<p> The Backseat Drivers Fan Council talks the NAScAR and Twitter partnership, a potential "Jerry Springer Show" sponsorship and the race at Pocono.</p>

Jerry Springer and NASCAR? A special Twitter page for NASCAR and a unique race at a unique race track. Backseat Drivers Fan Council members had much to debate this week and they didn’t always agree. Here’s what they had to say about this week’s issues: