Pocono Notebook: Bad day for top ten

Stewart's luck runs out After numerous incidents between Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart this season in which Kahne's No. 9 Dodge ended up wrecked; the racing God's finally bit the No. 20 Chevy of Stewart. Stewart was racing the No. 97 of Kurt ...

Stewart's luck runs out

After numerous incidents between Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart this season in which Kahne's No. 9 Dodge ended up wrecked; the racing God's finally bit the No. 20 Chevy of Stewart. Stewart was racing the No. 97 of Kurt Busch and the No. 9 of Kasey Kahne for 13th position at lap 108, when the No.20 got loose and hit the wall.

It appeared as if the No. 97 getting under Stewart took the air off his spoiler and made him loose. Stewart then nosed it into the wall, sliding down the track and into the grass before coming to rest on the infield retaining wall.

During the melee, Kahne knocked into the spinning No. 20, crinkling the nose of the No. 9 Dodge.

"I just got real loose," said Stewart. "Running real close with Kasey and it was just one of those things. We were being pretty courteous to each other, but just racing hard, it was a shame."

It's particularly bad luck for Stewart, who has been embroiled in so many on-track incidents with Kahne this season. Notably, incidents at Darlington, Talladega and Chicago, in which Kahne ended up a heaping pile of sheet metal.

The last of which, at Chicagoland Speedway, sparked a pit-road brawl between the 20 and the 9 teams, that had to be broken up by NASCAR officials.

Kahne's performance was not adversely affected by the slight nose damage; he finished third, and moves within 69 points of making it into the top ten.

Stewart wound up 35th, and falls from fourth to fifth in rankings.

Sadler rebounds from costly pit road mistake

Elliott Sadler commented before the Pennsylvania 500 that he was going to concentrate on holding his position in the top ten and not worry about what the front-runners were doing in the points chase.

Sadler was doing a great job of just that, when the 38 team left a tire outside the pit box and was penalized by NASCAR. The 38 Yates Ford was sent to the end of the longest line; they were running in the top-five at the time of the incident.

Team 38 decided to skip the next round of pit stops in an effort to regain crucial track position, they climbed their way back to the top-10, finishing 10th.

Because so many other teams experienced problems, Sadler climbs from eighth to sixth in points.

"We just never gave up," said Sadler. "We had fuel problems and had a tire roll across pit road.I'm just really tired right now and I'm worn out. I just want to go sit in the air conditioning.

"I haven't looked at the points yet but it definitely helped us. Now we can go to Indy and race for the win."

Overheating problems for 29 team cost Harvick

Kevin Harvick entered the Pennsylvania 500 ninth in series standings, but overheating problems on the No. 29 Chevy saw him out of the race at lap 144.

The 29 team attempted to put water into the car, but it went through the head gasket and back out. At that point, they pulled the No. 29 RCR Chevy into the garage and called it a day.

In a season where it has never been more crucial to be in the top ten by the 26th race of the season, Harvick's bad day now sees him fall to the bubble. He falls from ninth to tenth, after a 32nd place result.

Harvick has just a 20 point cushion between himself and 11th place Jeremy Mayfield.

Bobby Labonte ends race in pile of crumpled sheet metal

Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, and Elliott Sadler weren't the only top-ten drivers' having a bad points day.

Bobby Labonte was running in the top-15, when the No. 18 Gibbs Chevy spun and hit the wall. Labonte entered Pocono seventh in standings, but will leave ninth.

Kurt Busch adds to attrition rate of top-ten in races closing laps

Kurt Busch was running 12th on lap 192, when the transmission blew in the No. 9 Roush Ford. He was the final causality on a long list of top ten point sitters experiencing problems during the 500-mile event at Pocono.

Busch sat sixth in championship a ranking entering this event, the 26th place effort knocks him to seventh.

"Transmission," said Busch who finished 26th. "It's weird, we had second gear leave us about twenty laps ago, and you hardly use second gear here. Then the whole thing just went on us."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Kasey Kahne , Elliott Sadler