11 June 2012
Logano pushes Martin aside for Pocono win
"This track's gone under a lot of reconfiguration since last year," said Pemberton. "It's a brand new pit road, all brand new loops, positions have been changed since last year. Sections were smaller than they were last year throughout pit road and, actually, the last section is a little bit bigger.
"We put the loops in the racetrack. It's just simple math ... Every week, there's maps printed back here for crew chiefs to come get," he added. "Some choose to get them, some choose to measure their own lines and some go off last year."
But some of the drivers weren't convinced, including Keselowski who was deemed speeding on two separate occasions on Sunday afternoon.
"It was obvious that the section had some kind of issue," he said. "I was consistent down pit road, so if I was speeding in that sector, I would have been speeding in the others - but it didn't show that, he insisted, adding: "I think there's plenty of evidence to show that there is something wrong with the section timing, with whether they're looking at who got busted or what I just said there."
Jimmie Johnson also got caught twice, and came to believe there was a miscalibration in the final timing line at pit exit that caught him out when he thought he was out of the pit road speed limit area. "I did that the first time and I got nailed. Alright, maybe I just overdid it. The second time, I waited until the tail crossed the yellow line and still got pinned."
With so many cars getting caught out by the pit lane speeding system, the running order got a continuous series of jolts through the afternoon. After that round of pit stops on lap 45, no fewer than ten cars were penalised including former front runners Keselowski and Jeff Gordon. After the cycle of pit stops had completed, the survivors at the front were Hamlin, Earnhardt, McMurray, Logano and Kenseth.
It was time for Hamlin and McMurray's next off-sync pit stops on lap 65 (indeed, Hamlin pushed it too far and ran out of fuel before he could get in) when a caution came out for AL Allmendinger hitting the wall in turn 2. The next restart was thwarted by David Ragan's car blowing a tyre and littering the track with debris and by Kyle Busch's engine blowing up and dropping oil on the track, so by the time the next extended green came out on lap 83 the top five consisted of Greg Biffle and Mark Martin ahead of Earnhardt, Logano and Kenseth.
Biffle decided that Matt Kenseth had the better chance of holding off Dale Earnhardt and accordingly let his team mate take over in front on lap 93. It turned out to be a wise move, as Biffle's Ford engine was on its way out.
"It's unfortunate," he said later. "We've been on the edge with these engines all year and it's just such a fine line with oil temperature, and you come here shifting and it just didn't make it ... It's a good thing we just lost a cylinder and could make it to the finish."
Dale Earnhardt took the lead from Kenseth during the next round of green flag pit stops, and the leaders came in again under the fifth caution on lap 124 when Biffle's engine problems took a turn for the worse. At the restart, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick led the field to the green flag, which lasted just six laps before Kasey Kahne hit the wall hard coming out of turn 3.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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