2012 Pennsylvania 400

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2012 Pennsylvania 400
Race details[1][2]
Race 21 of 36 in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season
2012 Pennsylvania 400 logo.jpg
Date August 5, 2012 (2012-August-05)
Location Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.023 km)
Distance 98 laps, 245 mi (394.28 km)
Scheduled Distance 160 laps, 400 mi (643.737 km)
Weather Isolated thunder storms with a high temperature around 80; wind out of the S at 7 mph.
Average speed 139.249 miles per hour (224.100 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
Time 51.124
Most laps led
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
Laps 44
Winner
No. 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree
Nielsen Ratings 4.449 million [3]

The 2012 Pennsylvania 400 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on August 5, 2012 at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Contested over 98 laps of 160, it was the twenty-first race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. On August 10, 2011, track president Brandon Igdalsky announced that the race will be shortened from 500 miles to 400 miles.[4] Jeff Gordon, from the Hendrick Motorsports racing team, won his first race of the season while Kasey Kahne finished second. Martin Truex, Jr. clinched the third position. The race later ended after 98 laps due to thunderstorms in the area.[5] The win gave Gordon his first of the 2012 season, as well as his sixth at the track, the most at Pocono,[6] breaking a tie with Bill Elliott.[7]

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

Pocono Raceway, the race track where the race was held.

Pocono Raceway is one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races, the others being Daytona International Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.[8] The standard track at Pocono Raceway is a three-turn superspeedway that is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long.[9] The track's turns are banked differently; the first is banked at 14°, the second turn at 8° and the final turn with 6°.[9] However, each of the three straightaways are banked at 2°. Brad Keselowski was the defending race winner.[10]

Before the race, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. led the Drivers' Championship with 731 points, and Matt Kenseth stood in second with 717. Greg Biffle was third in the Drivers' Championship with 709 points, five ahead of Jimmie Johnson and 42 ahead of Denny Hamlin in fourth and fifth. Kevin Harvick with 653 was even with Martin Truex, Jr., as Tony Stewart with 652 points, was three ahead of Brad Keselowski, and nine in front of Clint Bowyer.[11] In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet was leading with144 points, 28 ahead of Toyota. Ford, with 97 points, was fourteen points ahead of Dodge in the battle for third.[12]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

Juan Pablo Montoya (shown here in 2007) won the pole position ahead of Denny Hamlin.

Two practice sessions were held before the race on August 3, 2012. The first and second session were each 90 minutes long.[13] Johnson was quickest with a time of 51.638 seconds in the first session, 0.088 faster than Kyle Busch.[14] Carl Edwards was third quickest, followed by Kenseth, Biffle, and Kasey Kahne. Joey Logano was seventh, still within a three-tenths of a second of Johnson's time.[14] Shortly before the first session concluded, Paul Menard sustained major damages to his car after crashing, causing the team to use their replacement car.[15] In the second and final practice session, Earnhardt, Jr. was quickest with a time of 50.721 seconds.[16] Kenseth with a time of 50.855, was second quickest, ahead of Biffle, Kyle Busch, and Edwards.[16] Jamie McMurray, Truex, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, and Johnson completed the first ten positions.[16]

Forty-four cars were entered for qualifying, but only forty-three could qualify for the race because of NASCAR's qualifying procedure.[17] Juan Pablo Montoya clinched his eighth pole position of his career,[18] with a time of 51.124 seconds.[19] He was joined on the front row of the grid by Hamlin.[19] Menard qualified third, Kahne took fourth, and Marcos Ambrose started fifth.[19] Kurt Busch, Kenseth, Earnhardt, Jr., Ryan Newman and Johnson rounded out the top ten. The driver that failed to qualify for the race was Stephen Leicht.[19]

Once the qualifying session had concluded, Montoya stated, "I know (Sunday) is going to be a reality check that we've still got to work on it a lot. But the race hasn't even started, and we haven't seen how the car works in clean air. We know there's a lot of really strong cars, but you make the right strategy and if you get track position, we've shown we've got the speed. I'm really open-minded. I told people, 'Let's enjoy today.' "[18]

Race[edit]

The race started 90 minutes late due to a rain delay.[20] The first ten laps of the race featured two lead changes and four others as Denny Hamlin and pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya repassed each other four times in two laps. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was also in contention for the lead before his transmission broke, and Jimmie Johnson led the most laps, but would crash on a restart with Matt Kenseth and Hamlin in Turn 1 on Lap 91. Jeff Gordon, who was running fifth on the restart avoided the crash, and would become the new leader. Seven laps later under caution, the thunderstorm hit the track and after 98 of the scheduled 160 laps, giving Gordon his 86th career Sprint Cup win. Kasey Kahne came in second, and his contentions in the race were dashed in pit road during the final caution,[21] when he ran over an air hose and had a flat right-rear tire.[22]

Results[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed Grid
42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 51.124 176.043 1
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 51.196 175.795 2
27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 51.245 175.627 3
5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 51.300 175.439 4
9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 51.302 51.302 5
51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 51.329 175.339 6
17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 51.379 175.169 7
88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 51.390 175.131 8
39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 51.400 175.097 9
48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 51.409 175.067 10
78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 51.418 175.036 11
16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 51.439 174.964 12
43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 51.486 174.805 13
20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 51.489 174.795 14
56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 51.541 174.618 15
1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 51.558 174.561 16
99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 51.596 174.432 17
55 Mark Martin Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 51.600 174.419 18
15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 51.631 174.314 19
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 51.642 51.642 20
29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 51.661 174.213 21
83 Landon Cassill BK Racing Toyota 51.676 174.162 22
31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 51.748 173.920 23
10 David Reutimann Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 51.852 173.571 24
22 Sam Hornish, Jr. Penske Racing Dodge 51.866 173.524 25
38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 51.900 173.410 26
24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 51.933 173.300 27
14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 51.964 173.197 28
13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford 52.064 172.864 29
19 Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Racing Toyota 52.138 172.619 30
2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 52.213 172.371 31
34 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 52.314 172.038 32
23 Scott Riggs R3 Motorsports Toyota 52.351 171.917 33
26 Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford 52.352 171.913 34
37 J. J. Yeley Max Q Motorsports Chevrolet 52.384 171.808 35
30 David Stremme Inception Motorsports Toyota 52.436 171.638 36
93 Travis Kvapil BK Racing Toyota 52.556 171.246 37
87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 52.692 170.804 38
47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 52.737 170.658 39
91 Reed Sorenson Humphrey Smith Racing Ford 52.761 170.581 40
32 Jason White FAS Lane Racing Ford 53.611 167.876 41
36 Tony Raines Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet
42
98 Mike Skinner Phil Parsons Racing Ford 52.781 170.516 43
Failed to Qualify
33 Stephen Leicht Circle Sport Racing Chevrolet 52.790 170.487
Source:[19]

Race results[edit]

Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 27 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 98 47
2 4 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 98 43
3 16 56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 98 41
4 31 2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 98 41
5 28 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 98 39
6 9 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 98 38
7 17 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 98 37
8 19 15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 98 36
9 11 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 98 35
10 5 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 98 34
11 3 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 98 33
12 18 55 Mark Martin Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 98 32
13 14 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 98 31
14 10 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 98 32
15 12 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 98 29
16 21 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 98 28
17 16 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 98 28
18 13 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 98 26
19 25 22 Sam Hornish, Jr. Penske Racing Dodge 98 0
20 1 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 98 25
21 26 38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 98 23
22 23 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 98 22
23 7 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 98 22
24 24 10 David Reutimann Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 97 20
25 37 93 Travis Kvapil BK Racing Toyota 97 19
26 22 83 Landon Cassill BK Racing Toyota 97 18
27 39 47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 96 17
28 32 34 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 96 16
29 2 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 90 16
30 6 51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 84 15
31 41 32 Jason White FAS Lane Racing Ford 81 0
32 8 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 80 13
33 20 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 74 11
34 36 30 David Stremme Inception Motorsports Toyota 43 10
35 29 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford 40 9
36 38 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 37 0
37 34 26 Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford 34 7
38 42 36 Tony Raines Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 31 6
39 30 19 Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Racing Toyota 29 0
40 35 37 J. J. Yeley Max Q Motorsports Chevrolet 27 4
41 43 98 Mike Skinner Phil Parsons Racing Ford 26 3
42 40 91 Reed Sorenson Humphrey Smith Racing Ford 10 0
43 33 23 Scott Riggs R3 Motorsports Toyota 9 1
Source:[23]

Standings after the race[edit]

Lightning strikes[edit]

After the race, a spectator was killed by a lightning strike, while nine others (one critical) were injured.[24][25] The nine injured spectators were taken to area hospitals, and five of them were later taken to local hospitals for examination.[5] The track had tweeted for fans to "seek shelter as severe lightning and heavy winds are in our area",[26] and the fans were instructed by public address systems at the track to take cover. However, fans posted on the track's Facebook page that they could not hear the warnings, and a fan tweeted to the Associated Press that the noise levels at races are so loud that little could hear the public address system. The race wasn't called until 42 minutes after the warning, leading to questions over whether or not NASCAR should have ended the race earlier.[27] Race winner Jeff Gordon stated that he had heard a crack while he was on pit road.[26]

"You could tell it was very close. I mean, that's the thing that's going to take away from the victory, is the fact that somebody was affected by that."[26]

The victim, 41-year old Brian Zimmerman from Moosic, Pennsylvania, was standing next to his car at the track's parking lot behind the Turn 3 grandstand. Bystanders had attempted to perform CPR on him until paramedics arrived. Zimmerman was later taken to the track's medical facility, and was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 6:11 pm. The victim that was in critical condition after getting struck was later in stable condition on August 6.[28]

The American flag at the track was flown at half-mast the morning after the race.[28] Pocono Raceway later established the "Pennsylvania 400 Memorial Fund" to help benefit the victims of the strikes.[29]

On August 5, 2014, Zimmerman's wife sued NASCAR, seeking damages for negligence and wrongful death.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ Brown, Brian (August 1, 2012). "The Pennsylvania 400". RotoWorld.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cable Top 25: ‘The Closer’ Tops Cable Viewership For Week Ending August 6, 2012 - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  4. ^ Track Release (2011-08-10). "Pocono Cup races shortened to 400 miles in 2012 – Aug 10, 2011". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  5. ^ a b David Caraviello, NASCAR.COM. "Spectator killed by lightning strike at Pocono – Aug 06, 2012". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  6. ^ "2012 NSCS Pennsylvania 400 Race Results". Catchfence. 
  7. ^ "Pennsylvania 400 Past Winners, History, Pennsylvania 400 Past Results, Previous Winners". Altiusdirectory.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  8. ^ "List of NASCAR race tracks". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Pocono Raceway". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ "2011 Good Sam RV Insurance 500". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Driver's Championship Classification". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Manufactures' Championship Classification". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Race Info Page". Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site. ESPN. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Practice One Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  15. ^ Jensen, Tom (August 3, 2012). "CUP: Johnson Opens Strong Again". Speed TV. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c "Practice Two Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Qualifying Entry List". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b Ryan, Nate (August 4, 2012). "Juan Pablo Montoya starts 1st at Pocono; can he stay there?". USA Today (Long Pond, Pennsylvania). Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c d e "Race Official Lineup". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  20. ^ "NASCAR Pocono Race Underway After 90-Minute Rain Delay". SBNation.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  21. ^ NASCAR Wire Service (2012-08-06). "Gordon wins rain-shortened Pocono race – Aug 06, 2012". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  22. ^ "CUP: Wild Card Race Wide Open". Fox News. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  23. ^ "2012 Official Race Results : Pennsylvania 400". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  24. ^ David Newton (2008-01-01). "One dead, nine others injured in lightning strikes following NASCAR race at Pocono – ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  25. ^ DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer. "Fan Hit by Lightning Goes From Critical to Stable – ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  26. ^ a b c August 06, 2012 (2012-08-06). "Lightning kills one at Pocono Raceway – Philly.com". Articles.philly.com. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  27. ^ "NASCAR fan killed by lightning strike at Pocono – Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  28. ^ a b Seth Livingstone, Special to NASCAR.COM (2012-08-07). "Weather warnings scrutinized after fan's death – Aug 07, 2012". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  29. ^ Westfall, Bob (2012-08-03). "INSIDE TRACK: Pennsylvania 400 Memorial Fund Established to Bene – WTRF 7 News Sports Weather – Wheeling Steubenville". Wtrf.com. Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  30. ^ Thompson, Andrew (2014-08-05). "Widow Sues NASCAR for Lightning Strike". Courthouse News Service. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 

External links[edit]


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