Hamlin and his team were slapped with a major penalty this weekend following an infraction at Indianapolis. After being penalized 75 points, he drops to 21st in the standings. He is still ahead of race winners Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch, so he is still solidly in the Chase. Even though Joe Gibbs Racing is appealing the suspensions of his crew chief and car chief, they will begin their suspensions at Pocono so they will be back in time for the Chase.
Hendrick Motorsports has continued their dominance in the past few weeks, and Jeff Gordon won last weekend at Indianapolis. This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series returns to the site of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s last win, and his teammate Kasey Kahne will look to repeat that. Kahne won this race last year, and he is still looking for his first win of the season. A win this weekend would help Kahne get into the Chase.
Kyle Larson won his first career Sprint Cup Series pole for the race on Sunday. Larson ran fifth during the June race at Pocono, which is very impressive for a rookie. Fellow rookie Austin Dillon qualified 11th for the race on Sunday, and that comes after a 17th place finish in June. The fight for the final Chase spot could come down to these two rookies, and that battle begins this weekend.
These storylines will come together on Sunday when the GoBowling.com 400 goes green at 1:00 p.m. EST on ESPN and MRN Radio.