Johnson Ties Yarborough, Allison/Waltrip Next Up
Last week, Jimmie Johnson picked up his 3rd win of the season, 11th win at Dover and the 83rd of his Cup Series career. Those 83 wins are tied with Cale Yarborough for the 6th-most in series history. One more, and he'll tie 2 more Hall of Famers, Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison, for the 4th-most in series history.
Of the 5 drivers with at least 84 career wins, 3 of them (Petty, Pearson, Waltrip) won their 84th race in their very next start after winning their 83rd.
Johnson has won 3 of the 1st 13 races of the season, but recently, it hasn't been a sign of late-season success.
Bubba Wallace to Make Cup Series Debut
After Aric Almirola was injured in a wreck at Kansas, Regan Smith filled in for him in the 1st 2 races. But this week, Roush Fenway Racing XFINITY Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. (nicknamed Bubba) will drive Richard Petty's legendary No. 43 at Pocono. Wallace will be the 8th black driver in known history to run a NASCAR Cup Series race. Only 1 of the previous 7 ran more than 3 races, Wendell Scott, who is also the only black driver to win in NASCAR top series.
Wallace's career got off to a hot start in the Truck Series, winning 5 times in 44 starts driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports and finishing 3rd in points in 2014, turning 21 years old that season. But he hasn't found the same success driving for Roush Fenway in the XFINITY Series.
Wallace will also run Saturday's XFINITY Series race in his regular No. 6 car, but the team will shut down operations following that race.
Kyle Busch Seeking First 2017 and First Pocono Wins
2 weeks ago at Charlotte, Kyle Busch finished 2nd at Charlotte, failing to pick up his first career points race win at the track. This week, he'll try to pick up his 1st career Cup Series win at Pocono, the other active track where Busch has never won. Among active drivers, nobody has won at more tracks than Busch, including Jimmie Johnson, who has 45 more wins than Busch.
Although Busch has never won at Charlotte, it's not for a lack of running up front, as he's led nearly 1,000 laps at the track. Pocono has proved a different story. The Tricky Triangle has proved tricky to Busch, it's the only track where he hasn't led 100 laps.
Pocono Pole is the Place to Be...At Least in June
Whoever wins the pole Friday afternoon is in luck. In the last 6 spring races at Dover, the driver on the pole has gone on to a top-5 finish, including back-to-back wins in 2012 (Joey Logano) and 2013 (Jimmie Johnson). But the summer race at the track doesn't quite have the same "track" record.
Still, there's been more winners from the pole at Pocono since 2000 than there has at any other track.
Who's Hot and Who's Not - Pocono Edition
• Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 2 wins, 6 top-5 finishes in last 7 Pocono races (only finish outside top 5 was 11th in June 2015)
• Brad Keselowski: top-3 finish in each of last 3 Pocono races
• Kevin Harvick: 4 top-5 finishes in last 5 Pocono races (only exception was August 2015, when he lost an engine); 4 top-5 finishes in 1st 27 career Pocono races
• Kyle Larson: 6 top-2 finishes in 13 races this season (leads all drivers)
• Jimmie Johnson: 3 wins this season; 15th career 3-win season is 2nd all-time behind Richard Petty's 20
• Kyle Busch: Pocono is only Cup Series track where he's led fewer than 100 laps
• Denny Hamlin: winless in last 13 Pocono races after winning 4 times in 1st 9 career starts at track
• Clint Bowyer: 2 top-5 finishes in 22 career Pocono races (has not led in last 13 Pocono races)
• Kurt Busch: has not finished in top 5 in 12 races since winning season-opening Daytona 500
• Jamie McMurray: 0 top-5 finishes in 28 career Pocono races (his most starts at any track without a top 5)
-- ESPN Stats & Info --