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NASCAR

CUP: Winners & Losers At Pocono Raceway

Elliott Sadler was involved in a frightening crash at Pocono Raceway Sunday and was just happy to walk away. Kurt Busch wasn’t so happy, and had some harsh words for Jimmie Johnson after his crash.

They were among the biggest losers at Pocono Raceway while Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards finally made Roush Fenway Racing a big winner.

WINNERS

NASCAR safety – The fact that Elliott Sadler was able to walk away from a violent head-on crash is further proof that NASCAR’s new car is indeed safer and that NASCAR’s safety efforts in the past several years have paid off.

Greg Biffle – Biffle has had the fastest Roush Fenway Racing Ford all season, so it was only fitting that he scored the organization’s first Cup win of 2010. Though he used pit strategy to get to the front, the win was no fluke. Biffle was third last week at Indy and has been in contention to win other races this year.

Tony Stewart – Stewart won the pole and backed it up with a second-place run. He keeps getting closer and closer to victory lane.

Carl Edwards – His third-place finish made it a banner day for Roush Fenway and was yet another sign that the organization has turned the corner.

Jeff Gordon – Saw another chance to win slip away with the wrong pit strategy. Still, he led 39 laps, rallied to finish sixth and sent a message that he will continue to be a strong contender.

Clint Bowyer – Bowyer started 40th, but worked his way through the field and had climbed into the top 10 when he got caught up in the Kurt Busch-Jimmie Johnson skirmish. Bowyer damaged his car in the accident and had to drop to the tail end of the lead lap after pitting with a tire problem. He rallied to finish 15th, however, keeping him in the top 12 in points.

LOSERS

Elliott Sadler – One day after winning the Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono, Sadler had was involved in a horrific crash in the Cup race. Sadler got caught up in Kurt Busch’s crash late in the race and smashed head-on into the inside guardrail. The impact was so violent that it knocked the engine out of Sadler’s car. Sadler had the breath knocked out of him and was sore, but otherwise uninjured.

Kurt Busch – Busch got hit from behind by Jimmie Johnson, sending him spinning down the straightaway and crashing. The crash ruined a top-10 run and cost Busch two spots in the standings, dropping him to seventh.

Juan Pablo Montoya – Was livid with crew chief Brian Pattie after pit strategy backfired for the second straight week. Was running second until his last pit stop and wound up 16th.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Earnhardt Jr. went from running well to nearly getting lapped to running at the front of the field to wrecking. Earnhardt Jr. gambled with a two-tire pit stop on lap 145 to climb to second place. He quickly faded through the field, however, and brought out a late caution flag when he wrecked. He finished 27th, losing ground in his hope to make the Chase.

Kyle Busch – Busch struggled most of the day, and then the radiator pan fell out of his car, forcing him to pit several times for repairs. He wound up 23rd after finishing second at Pocono in June.

COOL-DOWN LAP

“I spoke with Jack [Roush] this morning and he kind of put out the message that he wanted to talk to all of us before we got in the race cars. It’s pretty cool to say the least to have a race win for him and two cars in the top three.” – Carl Edwards

“I’m bummed out that we just can’t catch a break. It just seems like when we get ourselves in position to win the race, it just seems like we can’t catch that break.” – Jeff Gordon

“It was still a disappointing way to end our day. We needed to finish ahead of a few of the teams that we are battling in the point standings and they gained [on] us today. It’s a step back, but we have a strong team that never gives up.” – Clint Bowyer

“Kyle did a good job getting up towards the top 10, then the bottom of our duct work came unsealed and the car started to overheat and after that we lost the handle. We worked the rest of the day to get it the best we could but we couldn't get it fixed. We tried to make repairs on pit road but it's too tough.” – Kyle Busch crew chief Dave Rogers

“We just couldn't get the handle on it and never really had a dominant car like we had in the past. It was a new car so we kind of have to work through things, but still, we came through the field as good as anyone. To get a top-five, I'm fortunate really that the race went the distance." – Denny Hamlin

SceneDaily.com • Pocono Raceway looking at areas where there is no catch fence plans other safety improvements