Five things to ponder after Pocono

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Dale Earnhardt Jr won for the third this this year at Pocono this past weekend.

We saw a 13 car wreck, an exciting battle for the win, Dale Earnhardt Jr. sweeping a track, and Jimmie Johnson getting hit with bad luck? No, there was not a full moon over Pocono Raceway, but there very well could have been with the bizarre race we saw.

1.  Jr. is a winner again!

With NASCAR adding Pocono and Daytona to the Chase this year, that should really make Dale Earnhardt Jr. the odds on favorite in Vegas. Oh wait. What? Well, it's cool to see him winning again anyways, even if it doesn't involve fantasy football or iracing. 

2.  From crew chief to broadcaster 

With three wins this year, Steve Letarte is positioning himself as the next Celeb Crew Chief in the broadcast booth. When you think back to the exit Larry McReynolds made from the pit box to the booth, and I consider him one of the best ever on both fronts, it wasn't nearly as hot as what Letarte is right now. Sure, McReynolds had the Daytona 500 win with Dale Sr. in 1998, but was winless from there on. Dale Jr. is making his guy a lot of money, not just this year but for years to come with these wins so far and whatever else may be in store for the 88.
 

3. Where'd the horseshoe go?

As Jimmie Johnson's struggles continue here in the heat of summer, he goes to the cool climes of Watkins Glenn where he has an average finish of 5.5  since 2012. That's 2 top-tens and a driver rating of 105. If he doesn't show signs of life here you can start to worry a bit about where that golden horseshoe is. After another frustrating day at Pocono, Chad Knaus may already have put the horseshoe somewhere interesting. 
 

4.  Threat of rain = exciting racing

The mere threat of rain actually made Pocono interesting. Each year from now on NASCAR should announce that massive water sprinklers will be turned on at some point, ending the race before it's scheduled distance of roughly 723.5 miles. Let the games begin. We'd see leaders pitting under green 7 laps in, guys racing to the mysterious and unknown "half-way" point and somehow Denny Hamlin would still get angry and confused. I hate fuel mileage races. I hate watching guys conserve 30 laps into a race, but if we're gonna do it let's do it right. Pocono could also announce that feral rabbits will be released on the backstretch at some point during the race, just because it's something that might set Kyle Busch off. 
 

5.  Which winless Chase contender loses their footing at Watkins Glen?

Of Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman; also known as guys in the Chase right now without a win, who do you think gets knocked out when Marcos Ambrose drives the wheels off his car and wins at The Glen? For now, I'll pick on Ryan Newman and say he's the man on the bubble getting knocked out. Newman has the worst driver rating of any of the bubble guys at the Glen, even though he's had some decent finishes. Fair or not, he could be the guy with the worst day to recover from coming out of New York. 
 
My name's Ryan Hyatt and I'm on the radio. Catch us every Monday night at 7pm est. where Motorsport.com manager Nick DeGroot stops by to debate some of the hottest topics in the world of motorsports; clickHERE to tune in.
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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Event Pocono II
Sub-event Sunday race
Track Pocono Raceway
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, Marcos Ambrose
Article type Commentary