CONCORD, N.C. – Hendrick Motorsports has a long history of competing at Pocono (Pennsylvania) Raceway, having raced at the 2.5-mile track since the team’s formation in 1984. In 30 years, Hendrick Motorsports drivers have led a combined 3,078 laps en route to a Cup Series-high 16 victories at “The Tricky Triangle.” The team most recently took the checkered flag earlier this year when Dale Earnhardt Jr. grabbed the race lead with five laps to go, seizing his first career victory at the triangular track.
With the upcoming race this weekend, let’s take a look at three memorable Hendrick Motorsports moments at “The Tricky Triangle:”
August 4, 2013: Having won at Bristol earlier that season, Kasey Kahne was itching for another win – one that would help secure a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He began the 400-mile event at a slight disadvantage, starting from the 18th position. But that didn’t stop him; Kahne led 66 laps before he took the checkered flag that day, recording his first Pocono win since his arrival to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. It also marked the third straight Pocono victory for the organization, a streak that began with Jeff Gordon’s win in 2012.
June 11, 1995: It had been seven years since a Hendrick Motorsports driver had taken the checkered flag at Pocono when Terry Labonte climbed into his car on June 11, 1995 for the 500-mile race. After qualifying 27th, Labonte began the event at “The Tricky Triangle” from the back of the field. Never one to back down from a challenge, Labonte spent the 200-lap race maneuvering his way to the front and ultimately crossed the finish line first, ending Hendrick Motorsports' seven-year drought at the track. Labonte’s victory gave Hendrick Motorsports its fifth win at Pocono and 43rd Sprint Cup win.
July 20, 1986: It was looking to be a great year for Tim Richmond when he arrived at Pocono Raceway on June 20, 1986. He had climbed to third in the points standings, recorded two pole positions and was coming off two wins in a span of three weeks. One of these wins was the Pocono race earlier in the season. Therefore, Richmond was on a mission to sweep the track when the green flag waved to begin the race – and that’s just what he did. The driver of the No. 25 Chevrolet led 48 laps before ultimately taking the checkered flag at “The Tricky Triangle.” Richmond would go on to win seven total races for Hendrick Motorsports that season before finishing third in the points standings.