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Back in Victory Lane

June 11, 2012, Andrew Shain, Special to NASCAR.COM,

Logano puts Coca-Cola back on top as three finish in top five

A trip to the Pennsylvania mountains did wonders for the Coca-Cola Racing Family as Joey Logano put the contour bottle back in Victory Lane for the first time in six races.

The Connecticut native was among six family drivers in the top 15 -- including a trio in the first five spots at Pocono Raceway. Logano's win means the red-and-white troops have won half of the season's 14 races.

Joey Logano

Pocono finish: First

Season standings: 15th

Logano owned Pocono this past weekend. He backed up winning the pole by being the only driver to stay within the top 15 during Sunday's race. He spent the bulk of the event in the top-five and led the most laps, 49. Logano won his first race since his rookie season in 2009, which was rain shortened. With his third top-10 in his past four races, Logano is just 28 points out of 10th and his win puts him into contention for a wildcard spot in the Chase.

What he said: "[Crew chief] Jason Ratcliff and the guys gave me one heck of a car. The brake package on this thing was amazing. I was able to out-brake a lot of guys into [Turn] 1 all day and made some passes there. It's just awesome to finally get to Victory Lane the right way. ... I hope it shuts them all up [on questions about his future] is what I hope."

Tony Stewart

Pocono finish: Third

Season standings: Eighth

Stewart has gone through highs and lows in recent weeks. The reigning Sprint Cup champion now has two third-place finishes that sandwich a pair of 25th-place results. He started 22nd at Pocono and worked through an ill-handling car to reach the top 10 with about 60 laps to go. He topped off his tank on a debris caution with 33 laps remaining that gave him confidence to run hard to nab his 11th top-10 finish in his past 14 races at Pocono. Stewart remains eighth in points.

What he said: "It was pretty hard to pass all day, but it kind of normally is. But it seemed like the end of the race it got pretty racy there, and guys could move around a little bit. ... The restarts were insane, but you had to take full advantage of them. That was the biggest opportunity to make gains. You could get three or four at a time if somebody got bottled up a little bit."

Denny Hamlin

Pocono finish: Fifth

Season standings: Fourth

Hamlin has been the dominant driver at Pocono in the past seven years -- tops in average start and running position and very close to the lead in average finish. With that record, he was able to pass the most cars in the race (120) while yo-yoing three times from inside the top-five to outside the top-20 and back again with various minor issues. Like his teammate Logano, Hamlin finished where he started in fifth. He has nine top-six finishes in his past 13 races at Pocono and held his spot in the points standings.

What he said: "It was a tough day. We just had a lot of contact out there. We just struggled all day. We ran out of fuel and things like that -- to come home with a top-five is a great day."

Jamie McMurray

Pocono finish: 10th

Season standings: 19th

McMurray has hit a good patch as he had a fast car for a second week. Like Hamlin, McMurray was another driver at Pocono who started high in the field slid back and then bounced back and forth for a top-10 finish. He surged a race-best nine spots in the final 16 laps for his highest finish at Pocono in four years and best result in nearly three months. McMurray gained three spots in standings.

What he said: "Our guys worked hard and we had good pit stops. We fell out of sequence at one point and had to battle back through the pack. I am proud of the effort from everyone on this team and feel good about the way we performed this weekend. It's nice to walk out of here with a top-10 finish."

Ryan Newman

Pocono finish: 12th

Season standings: 14th

Newman has been consistent in recent weeks to keep in touch with a Chase spot. Starting 18th, Newman improved his track position despite a loose-handling car. He reached inside the top 10 after 50 laps but got shuffled from sixth to 11th on a restart with about 30 laps to go. He pitted again to get enough gas to finish, but Newman came out 18th. He gained eight spots in the final 20 laps for his third top-15 finish. Newman lost a spot in the season standings, but remains within striking distance of a Chase position (one win and 28 points out of 10th).

What he said: "I really expected for us to have a better finish. We had a good qualifying spot, and I thought we had a good shot at getting a finish in the top-10, but it just didn't work out. It was a frustrating day."

Jeff Burton

Pocono finish: 15th

Season standings: 18th

Like a lot of other drivers at Pocono, Burton's score sheet was a little all over the place. Burton turned a 20th-place start into a top-10 run by Lap 50. Then he had a pass-through penalty that stopped his surge. Burton tumbled beyond the top 25, came back into the top 10 and slid back to 15th -- which was his best finish in a month. Burton, who in the previous two races did not get the results that matched the speed of his car, remains 18th in season standings.

What he tweeted: "Disappointing day but again there were times that we had speed. Not there yet but surely improving. we will [be] a contender."

Bobby Labonte

Pocono finish: 22nd

Season standings: 26th

Labonte got his best Pocono finish in four seasons after reaching into the top 15 about midway through the race. He got struck on the outside soon after and was railroaded back outside the top 25. He made another run inside the top 15 as cars grabbed fuel and tires, but Labonte pitted with less than 10 laps left and was again outside the top 20 when the checkered dropped. He still gained a spot in the season standings.

What he said: "We hoped for a better finish. There at the end we lost a little time because I was trying really hard and almost wrecked it getting in too high."

Greg Biffle

Pocono finish: 24th

Season standings: Third

This is unfamiliar territory for Biffle. After 11 consecutive weeks atop the standings, a bad engine left Biffle with his worst finish of the season and cost him the points lead. He was able to nurse the car around the track to finish on the lead lap -- which prevented a bad day from being worse. Biffle dropped to third in the points despite his nearest competitors finishing seventh and eighth at Pocono.

What he said: "It's unfortunate. We've been on the edge with these engines all year and it's just such a fine line with oil temperature, and you come here shifting and it just didn't make it. It's a good thing we just lost a cylinder and could make it to the finish. ... It's unfortunate we fell back that far, but the points are so tight we knew that if we had an issue we were going to drop a lot. As long as it doesn't happen in the Chase I'm happy."

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