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Pocono recap: Hendrick trio in top 10

LONG POND, Pa. (Aug. 1, 2010) – Hendrick Motorsports dominated most of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway, and three of its four drivers left the 500-mile event with top-10 finishes.

Jeff Gordon led his teammates across the finish line with a sixth-place result, while Mark Martin took seventh and Jimmie Johnson finished 10th. Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, left with 27th-place.

Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, lined up fourth for Sunday’s event and was the race leader within the first lap.  Johnson, who started the race sixth in his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, joined Gordon as a front-runner and led a race-high 96 laps as he battled for his sixth win of the 2010 season. Meanwhile, Martin and Earnhardt jockeyed for position inside the top 10 as the race unfolded.

But ultimately it was Gordon in the best position as the laps counted down. With 35 laps to go, he was running first when a multi-car incident happened on the backstretch, prompting NASCAR officials to wave the red flag. After a 17 minute and 20 second clean-up period, racing resumed and the drivers headed for pit road. 

A variety of strategies were employed, and Martin made the best progress off pit road, taking over the third position for the restart on Lap 180.  Gordon was 13th, while Johnson was 15th and Earnhardt was 24th. As the race wound down, the drivers worked hard to improve their positions.

Gordon, who led seven times for 39 laps, remains second in the driver standings, while Johnson remains fourth. Martin ranks 13th, but trails 12th-place Clint Bowyer by only 34 points with five races remaining till the cutoff for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Earnhardt is 14th and trails 12th-place by 129 points.

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