By Jerry Bonkowski and Bob Moore
20 MATT KENSETH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After seven weeks in second place, Matt Kenseth moved up one spot to knock Jeff Gordon out of the lead for the Sprint Cup standings after Sunday's race at Dover. Kenseth now leads Gordon by two points and leads third-ranked Carl Edwards by 25 points.
POCONO RECORD: 28 career starts, 0 wins, 3 top-5s, 10 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Third in early summer 2003. Finished 25th in this race last year and was 22nd in the mid-summer encore race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Given his past track record there, Kenseth does not look like he'll break his 2014 winless streak at Pocono this Sunday. Kenseth has struggled at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, including his last three races there being finishes of 20th or worse.
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth had a second consecutive strong run at Dover, finishing third, the same place he finished the week before at Charlotte. His Dover finish also propelled him into the lead of the Sprint Cup standings. Much was made that Kenseth and Joey Logano had a confrontation after the race, but such was not the case, according to Kenseth: "I was just talking with Joey about how hard it was to pass. Really, he was frustrated because he couldn't catch me. So, we were just talking about how tough it was to pass. Wherever you put a car in front of the other one that was about where you were going to run."
ETC.: Even though his overall performance has been marginal there, Kenseth has completed 99.0 percent (5,216) of the 5,267 total laps contested in 28 career starts at Pocono. His average start there is 18.2 and his average finish is 14.9. He has zero DNFs there.
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: After a six-week run atop the Sprint Cup standings, Jeff Gordon fell to second place after Sunday's race at Dover. Gordon trails new points leader Matt Kenseth by two points, and is 23 points ahead of third-ranked Carl Edwards.
POCONO RECORD: 42 career starts, 6 wins, 19 top-5s, 29 top-10s, 2 poles. Best career finish: First in early summer 1996, 1997, 2007 and 2011, along with mid-summer 1998 and 2012. Finished 12th in this race last year and was second in the mid-summer encore race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Pocono is one of Gordon's favorite and most successful racetracks. In 42 starts, he's won six times and amassed a total of 29 top-10 finishes. He's looking for another strong run there Sunday, as well as to regain the lead in the Sprint Cup points standings. Here's Gordon's thoughts on Sunday's race: "I don't think the track has changed - it's just the curb I believe has been removed from Turn 2 and the access road is now like a normal apron. I think visually it's going to take some getting used to. We used that curb as a real focal point and, now that it's gone, what you used to get through that corner will be different."
LOOKING BACK: Gordon never really had a car that could challenge at Dover. While he hoped he could salvage a top 10 finish, he ultimately wound up with a 15th-place showing.
ETC.: Gordon has completed 96.2 percent (7,757) of the 8,067 total laps contested in 42 career starts at Pocono. His average start there is 11.6 and average finish is an excellent 10.0. He has five DNF's there.
99 CARL EDWARDS, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Carl Edwards remained in third place in the standings, but he's no longer tied with Kyle Busch, as he was heading into last Sunday's race at Dover. Edwards trails new points leader Matt Kenseth by 25 points and second-ranked Jeff Gordon by 23 points, and leads fourth-ranked Jimmie Johnson by two points.
POCONO RECORD: 18 career starts, 2 win, 5 top-5s, 8 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in early summer 2005 and mid-summer 2008. Finished 18th in this race last year and was 11th in the mid-summer encore race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: The rumor mill has really sprung into action after Darrell Waltrip said on Fox Sports' Sunday telecast prior to the Dover race that Edwards will be moving to Joe Gibbs Racing next season (and Waltrip said teammate Greg Biffle is headed to Michael Waltrip Racing). Edwards has had no comment on Waltrip's comment or the increased activity of the rumor mill.
LOOKING BACK: After finishing fourth at Charlotte, Edwards had an average run at Dover, finishing 14th.
ETC.: Edwards has completed 95.6 percent (3,146) of 3,292 total laps contested in 18 career starts at Pocono. His average start there is 17.2 and his average finish is 13.3. He has zero DNFs there.
48 JIMMIE JOHNSON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Jimmie Johnson climbed two spots in the standings, from sixth to fourth (he's now climbed three positions in two weeks), following his win Sunday at Dover, his second straight win this season. Johnson trails new points leader Matt Kenseth by 27 points, is two points behind third-ranked Carl Edwards and leads fifth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by seven points.
POCONO RECORD: 24 career starts, 3 wins, 10 top-5s, 16 top-10s, 3 poles. Best career finish: First in early and mid-summer 2004 and early summer 2013. Finished first in this race last year and was 13th in the mid-summer encore race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Jimmie Johnson won his second consecutive race of the season at Dover, following up on his win a week before at Charlotte. Pocono is one of Johnson's favorite and more successful tracks. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "We have some momentum right now. Pocono is a great track for the No. 48 team. ... It's such a big track it's tough to see it all from a fan perspective. But inside the car and the challenge that the crew chief face there is a lot going on around that racetrack. I know it is Chad's (Knaus) favorite racetrack to go to because all three corners are different, the loading is different, the banking is different, and there are a bunch of tools and options to adjust the race car all the way around the track. That is what Chad really enjoys about that."
LOOKING BACK: Johnson dominated at Charlotte two weeks ago, and dominated again this past Sunday en route to his 68th career Sprint Cup win, leading 272 of the 400 laps at Dover.
ETC.: Johnson has been near-perfect at Pocono, having completed an outstanding 99.8 percent (4,458) of the 4,467 total laps contested in 24 career starts there. His average start there is an outstanding 8.6 and his average finish is an equally outstanding 8.8. He has zero DNFs there.
88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Former points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. remained in fifth place after Sunday's race at Dover. He trails points leader Matt Kenseth by 34 points, is seven points behind fourth-ranked Jimmie Johnson and leads sixth-ranked Joey Logano by 15 points.
POCONO RECORD: 28 career starts, 0 wins, 7 top-5s, 11 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: Second in mid-summer 2001 and mid-summer 2007. Finished third in this race last year and was fifth in the mid-summer encore race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: With the exception of a 32nd-place finish in mid-summer 2012, Earnhardt has two top-five and three other top-10 finishes in the last six races. He's been knocking on the door for his first career win there. Will he finally seal the deal this Sunday?
LOOKING BACK: Earnhardt didn't lead any laps but hovered around the top five for much of Sunday's race at Dover, ultimately finishing ninth. His thoughts on the concrete fiasco at Dover? "Concrete has been losing the battle for preferred surface on a racetrack for 60 years. I don't think they are going to start paving them all with concrete anytime soon. It is okay and I think they got their money out of what they put down here. I would be a little nervous because there are so many joints and joists in this place, it's a lottery on which one is going to come up next. If they repave it, I hope they put asphalt down and we would give the fans a hell of a show around here."
ETC.: Earnhardt has completed 97.1 percent (5,116) of the 5,267 total laps contested in 28 career starts at Pocono. His average start there is 15.0 and average finish is 16.3. He has one DNF there.
22 JOEY LOGANO, Ford
Team: Penske Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After dropping from sixth to seventh at Charlotte, Joey Logano regained his lost position and climbed back into sixth after Dover. He trails points leader Matt Kenseth by 49 points, is 15 points behind fifth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. and leads seventh-ranked Kyle Busch by three points.