Dale Earnhardt Jr. pulls away late at Pocono Raceway for 2nd win of season

The Associated Press

Dale Earnhardt Jr., right, holds the winner's trophy with Pocono Raceway President Brandon Igdalsky after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 auto race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, June 8, 2014, in Long Pond, Pa. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

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LARSON'S MASTERY: Kyle Larson mastered Pocono in no time. The NASCAR rookie led four laps and finished a solid fifth a day after he won the ARCA race on the 2½-mile tri-oval track. Larson struggled this season adapting to shifting, and blew out several transmissions in his Chip Ganassi Racing cars. He's not quite a skilled shifter yet, though Sunday showed he's getting there. "I did miss a couple of shifts," he said, laughing. "Just twice, which is a lot better than it probably should have been if I didn't practice shifting a whole lot."

JOHNSON'S STREAK: Johnson's bid for a third straight victory was derailed when he connected on pit road with Marcos Ambrose. Coming off wins in the Coca-Cola 600 and at Dover, Johnson was fifth when he pitted under yellow. Johnson hit Ambrose and spun 180-degrees, which forced him to back into his stall for more repairs. He needed two tires, had right-front damage and dropped to 29th on the restart. Johnson is a six-time champion for a reason and overcame the mishap to finish sixth. "I was scared to death I was going to hurt someone," he said. "From there we just went to work and do what the No. 48 does best and grind it out."

TRUEX STREAK: Martin Truex Jr. may have found his groove in his first season at Furniture Row Racing. He followed his sixth-place finish at Dover with a ninth at Pocono, his first back-to-back top-10s this season. He has only one other top-10. Truex brushed the wall at one point to set him back, though a nice recovery seemed to go along with the one he's made at the finish line. "We had top-10 cars all year, but we were not able to finish races," Truex said. "The last two weeks we finished the races and got some decent results. We're gaining, but still have a ways to get to where we want to be."

JUMP INTO NASCAR: No, Pocono didn't double as a Hollywood movie lot. But that really was Hollywood heavyweights Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill at the track, a nice get in a season when celebrity star power had been missing at the track (sorry, Larry the Cable Guy). Danica Patrick hit 140 mph in the pace car with the "22 Jump Street" stars riding along to add to the star power. "My left ear is ringing from Jonah screaming in the backseat," Tatum said.

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