Earnhardt completes Pocono sweep

  • Article by: DAN GLESTON , Associated Press
  • Updated: August 3, 2014 - 5:48 PM

With his second victory this season at the Pennsylvania track and third win overall in 2014, Dale Earnhart Jr. grabbed the No. 1 seeed in the Chase for the Championship.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrated in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday. Earnhardt sweep the Pocono races this season.

Photo: Matt Slocum, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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– Dale Earnhardt Jr. traded hats, waited for his cue, and flashed three fingers for the cameras.

That’s one for every win.

The beer baths, champagne toasts, selfies, and photo opps in Victory Lane are almost routine now for Junior.

He added a new wrinkle at Pocono, a broom.

Earnhardt hoisted the broom high over his head after he completed a season sweep at Pocono Raceway, the third win in a season that has served as a career renaissance for NASCAR’s most popular driver.

Earnhardt now holds the No. 1 seed in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Can he hold it headed into NASCAR’s version of the playoffs?

“You’re the broadcaster,” Earnhardt teased crew chief Steve Letarte about that question.

“You don’t,” the departing Letarte said. “You’re too far from the Chase.”

The legion of Junior Nation fans roared when Earnhardt stormed ahead of the pack off the final restart with three laps left for the lead. His third win, he also won the Daytona 500, tied him for the most in Sprint Cup this season.

Earnhardt held off the hard-charging Kevin Harvick to become the first driver to sweep both races at the track since Denny Hamlin in 2006.

He tweeted “Lookin for a broom” last week when he landed in Pocono.

He found one in Victory Lane.

“This group all really enjoys each other,” Earnhardt said. “We want to see everybody happy.”

They had tons of fun inside the Pocono media center.

Letarte acted hurt when his nameplate didn’t have the same three winner’s stickers that were on Earnhardt’s card. Earnhardt also brought a Make-A-Wish Foundation teen to the podium and made sure he’d have his own namecard and stickers.

“This is my buddy, Chris. Does he get one,” Earnhardt said.

They all got their stickers -- the same ones applied to the No. 88 Chevrolet.

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